How the Medicaid Expansion Could Impact Your State

BY Jason Kane and Justin Myers  July 5, 2012 at 4:00 PM EDT

It was a seemingly simple concept. The United States would inch closer to universal health care by expanding the Medicaid program to about 17 million low-income people. The federal government would pick up 100 percent of the tab for the expansion and force states to pay for 10 percent of the cost a few years down the line.

But in its ruling on the Affordable Care Act last Thursday, the Supreme Court added a twist: Expanding Medicaid is constitutional, the justices ruled, but forcing states to participate by threatening to withhold the rest of their Medicaid cash is not.

With that, the expansion became optional. State officials who don’t wish to participate can now boycott a centerpiece of the law without fear of losing the mass funding they already receive for Medicaid.

While it’s still unclear which states will officially decide to opt out, the map below offers a look at the number of low-income residents from each state who were expected to gain coverage through the Medicaid expansion. Scroll your mouse over the map to see the state-level numbers at stake.

Tune in to the PBS NewsHour broadcast Thursday evening for a closer look at the arguments brewing over the Medicaid expansion, and the states that want to opt out rather than take federal money.