Deborah Bachrach Discusses Medicaid Expansion Considerations

Deborah Bachrach Discusses Medicaid Expansion Considerations

“Tough Talk From Governors About Medicaid After Reform Law Ruling”
American Medical News

July 16, 2012 – Manatt’s Deborah Bachrach, a special counsel in the firm’s Healthcare Division, discussed with American Medical News what states should consider before making their decisions about the Medicaid expansion.

As reported by American Medical News, the Supreme Court upheld the health reform law’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility up to 133% of the poverty level, but it invalidated a provision requiring states to accept the expansion or forfeit all federal Medicaid funding. This allows states the opportunity to opt out of the expansion while maintaining their current Medicaid programs.

Most states will be doing careful assessments of the advantages and disadvantages of the Medicaid expansion, said Bachrach, who is New York’s former Medicaid director. States must assess how many uninsured they have and what the true state costs of covering those individuals would be.

States undoubtedly will be focusing on the 10% portion they will be paying by 2020, Bachrach said. But the analysis requires another step — a calculation of state spending on programs and health professionals serving uninsured patients. These are costs states are underwriting today that largely could be offset by the federal government after 2014, she said.

“When they complete that analysis, I think most states will find that the benefits of the expansion far outweigh the costs,” Bachrach said.

Read the article here.

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