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Healthcare reform fallout: Which states could lose financially?

States that have not already expanded Medicaid programs are worried about healthcare reform bringing new financial burdens.

President Barack Obama signs the healthcare reform bill in the East Room of the White House Tuesday.

Jason Reed/REUTERS

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Under the new healthcare reform plan, 16 million more people are expected to join state Medicaid rolls. Recognizing the costs involved, lawmakers have tried to cushion the financial impact on states. But many governors believe the expansion of Medicaid will still be too costly for them.

Medicaid is a key part of the plan to expand healthcare coverage in America. From a financial standpoint, some states stand to benefit from the Medicaid provisions – and other states believe they stand to lose.

Eleven states, plus the District of Columbia, could come out as winners. They’re so-called expansion states, which already cover childless adults to some extent. They could gain because the federal government will absorb an increasing amount of their obligations.

The Monitor looked at them earlier Friday.

Now, here’s a look at some of the other states – those that have not already expanded Medicaid. In these places, the new provisions could produce additional financial burdens, according to their governors.

Some officials in such states worry that more people will sign up for the Medicaid plans than expected, thus increasing costs. And they complain that the federal government has “underfunded” programs before, forcing states to make up the difference.

“Governors have balanced-budget requirements, so it would have been shocking to hear them say, ‘Great, ask us to do more,’ ” says Stanley Collender, managing director of Qorvis Communications in Washington. “Governors are usually saying, ‘Don’t ask us to do anything. We can’t afford it.’


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