Medicaid Expansion Under the ACA: Good or Bad Policy?

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It has been up to the states to decide whether expanding Medicaid by raising income-eligibility rates is the most affordable way to get more people covered under the Affordable Care Act. But Medicaid expansion has had mixed results.

(Click the play button on the audio player above to listen to this segment of the ACA panel discussion)

This HCPLive audio panel discussion features:

  • Joel Zinberg MD, JD, Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
  • David Sandman PhD, Senior Vice President of the New York State Health Foundation
  • Patrick Cronin, New Jersey organizing director for “Get Covered America” a nonprofit with a federal contract to help people sign up for coverage
  • Tom Wilson (moderator), a partner at Kaufman Zita Group and former chairman of the NJ Republican State Committee

The panelists look at how well the ACA is working and discuss whether it is politically vulnerable.

It has been up to the states to decide whether expanding Medicaid by raising income-eligibility rates is the most affordable way to get more people covered under the ACA. But Medicaid expansion has had mixed results.

In New York, which already has a generous Medicaid program, Sandman says people newly covered are extremely pleased.

“Our survey of New Yorkers who got coverage showed those who got Medicaid were the happiest of all—even happier than people who got private coverage,” Sandman says.

Doctors in NY might disagree says Zinberg, because many of them feel Medicaid does not pay doctors enough. “It’s not clear Medicaid expansion is the way to go,” Zinberg says.

Cronin says Medicaid expansion is a success in NJ. The panelists point to other states and offer tales of successes and failures

The chart pictured here breaks down the types of insurance chosen by 1 million enrollees in NY State’s exchange.

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