Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, says the Supreme Court “completely defanged the Medicaid expansion” as called for in the new healthcare law.
“The way Medicaid works is the federal government pays for a little more than half of each state’s Medicaid program, and the state kicks in the other half,” Cannon explains. “What the federal government said in ObamaCare is you have to expand your Medicaid program dramatically. And if you don’t, then you’re going to lose all federal Medicaid funds. For the average state, that’s 12 percent of their budget.”
More than two dozen states sued the federal government, arguing that the Medicaid language is coercive. The Supreme Court agreed, adding that the federal government cannot condition the old Medicaid money on this Medicaid expansion.
“They can only condition the new Medicaid money because the federal government was offering to pay for most of the expansion, not all of it,” the health policy expert details. “Now, what that means for states is they don’t need to expand their Medicaid programs anymore. They can keep that 12 percent of their budget they’re getting from the federal government, even if they don’t expand their Medicaid programs.”