Josiah Bartlett Center - The Medicaid Compromise That Isn't

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

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The Medicaid Compromise That Isn't

This week Republican Senate leadership announced a plan to significantly expand the state’s Medicaid program. While the deal was announced, the details are not yet available. Evaluating whether the deal involves any significant element of compromise or is just a slight variant of a dramatic expansion of the state’s Medicaid system depends on the details but early reports are not promising.

The federal health reform popularly known as ObamaCare or the ACA rests on three major components: individual and employer mandates to buy insurance, a regulatory and purchasing structure called an exchange (or sometimes confusingly referred to as a “marketplace”), and a roughly trillion dollar expansion of Medicaid. 

One of the primary metrics to consider in any potential expansion plan is what the effect be on total Medicaid enrollment. Today Medicaid is not a program for all low income citizens. Instead Medicaid covers people only within certain categories (like children, certain disabled populations, pregnant women or women with breast or cervical cancer). Other low income categories of people, most notably single childless adults, are not covered at all....
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