Media Advisory: Health care ruling gives states choice regarding Medicaid expansion

In a decision that declared the health care reform bill constitutional for the most part but unconstitutional in another part, one of the big implications for states such as North Carolina is that they will now have a greater choice over whether to participate in the law’s Medicaid expansion provision, which is expected to enroll around 16 million more individuals in the federal-state Medicaid program in coming years.

John Dinan, professor of political science at Wake Forest University and author of the article  “Shaping Health Reform: State Government Influence in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” is available to talk about the effect of the decision on state governments.

Dinan says:

The law as originally drafted required states to expand their Medicaid eligibility to all adults up to a certain income level or risk losing the entirety of their federal Medicaid funds.  But, the Supreme Court ruled that this does not give states a free choice of whether to participate in the law’s Medicaid expansion; the Court ruled that states must be given a choice of whether to participate in the expansion, and if they choose not to participate in the expansion they would still receive Medicaid funds to support their existing Medicaid coverage.  This likely will lead states such as North Carolina to consider over the next year whether they want to participate in the law’s Medicaid expansion or keep their participation at the current level.

About Wake Forest University:

Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

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