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Obama administration: no deadline for states to decide whether to participate in Medicaid expansion

Posted on July 15, 2012 | No Comments

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Key Developments

Republican governors sent a letter to President Barack Obama on July 10 requesting that he clarify a number of issues regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 28 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In response, Marilyn Tavenner, the Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), wrote a letter announcing that there will be no deadline for states to decide whether they will participate in the Medicaid expansion scheduled to take effect in 2014 under the ACA. Tavenner also stated in her letter that states are eligible to receive extra federal funding for Medicaid information technology and state insurance exchange implementation even if they have not yet decided whether they plan to expand Medicaid eligibility. Additionally, if a state decides against expanding Medicaid or establishing a health insurance exchange, Tavenner noted that the state would not have to pay back any federal funding.

The court’s decision to remove any penalty for states opting out of the Medicaid expansion provoked a flurry of questions, not only from the Republican Governors Association, but also the National Governors Association and the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

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