Josh Barro

Obamacare: a windfall for Massachusetts

Recently, the Supreme Court upheld most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But one provision — the part expanding Medicaid, the health care plan for low-income families, to all adults and children below 133 percent of the poverty line — was weakened. States that decline to participate in this expansion won’t lose all the funds the federal government currently give them for Medicaid, as the law specified; they’ll only have to give up the money that would have paid for the expansion itself.

Already, some conservative governors are claiming they plan to turn the money down. But most states can be expected to take the expansion because it’s a great deal: The federal government will pay for all of it in the first year, and will continue to pay for 90 percent of the expansion costs in 2019 and thereafter.

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