Several US states resist expansion of healthcare coverage to poor people

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 23 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5010
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

Governors of at least five US states have said that they will resist the expansion of healthcare insurance coverage to more poor people. The health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, was intended to cover about 17 million uninsured poor people aged under 65 by extending the Medicaid health insurance programme.

Medicaid usually covers only pregnant women and poor parents and their children, not poor childless adults. About 57% of Medicaid costs are paid for by the federal government and the rest by the states. However, each state sets its own eligibility requirements for Medicaid, and some states are more generous than others.

The Affordable Care Act called for the expansion of Medicaid to cover about 17 million people on low or middle incomes but who were above the poverty level. The federal government promised to pay 100% of the cost for the first …

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