The cost of Medicaid expansion | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The cost of Medicaid expansion

Posted By on Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Republican candidates and even Gov. Mike Beebe have been moaning about how expansion of Medicaid coverage could cost Arkansas.

It's a more unfair burden on states that have traditionally done more for their poor citizens, which is the point of this New York Times article. But this article is also worth reading for the explanation of the expansion, which wouldn't begin for three to four years. And, then, the federal government would cover the entire cost for two years and 95 percent of the cost for the following three years. So added state spending is, in current legislation five to six years off.

It's worth noting, too, that Arkansas is the most miserly state in the country when it comes to covering parents of children covered by Medicaid. Only those making no more than 17 percent of the federal poverty level are covered. (Minnesota covers up to 215 percent.) The poverty level is currently $29,300 for a family of four, or a cap just under $5,000/yr. in Arkansas.

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