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Ohio and Medicaid Expansion in New Health Care Law


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A new report -- "Medicaid Expansion in the new Health Law: Costs to States" -- finds that the new health care law will cost states at least $118.04 billion through 2023, and added costs to Ohio could top $1.3 billion.

Medicaid, created in 1965, is funded by states and the federal government and provides health care for low-income Americans. In its first year, less than five million used the program, but today almost one in four Americans is on Medicaid, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The Washington Post reports that Medicaid "now provides health insurance to 53 million poor Americans. Starting in 2014, the law will require states to open eligibility to an anticipated 20 million more people with slightly higher incomes." Under the new health care law, states cannot limit who is eligible for Medicaid.

The report finds that over the next decade, "the federal government will spend $4.4 trillion on Medicaid." Further, the report concludes that half of those who will gain health care benefits under the new health care law will get those benefits through Medicaid. The report says that Medicaid spending today already "consumes nearly a quarter of state government budgets."

The report has estimates of the added costs of Medicaid for each state under the new health care law. Starting in 2014, the federal government is expected to cover states' extra costs, but beginning in 2017 the reports says "state governments will be forced to spend new money on expanded Medicaid populations, and by 2020, the states will shoulder these new costs fully."

The report finds that added Medicaid costs to Ohio could be $1.335 billion from 2014-2019, while "Texas alone will be forced to spend $27 billion-more than the program's entire annual budget today."

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