NY Times: Forecast Cut on Spending for Health

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WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office has reduced by one-third its estimate of how much more states will spend on Medicaid in the coming decade because of the Affordable Care Act.

In early February, the budget office estimated that state spending on Medicaid and a related program for children would be $70 billion higher from 2015 to 2024 because of the law’s coverage provisions. In a new report, the budget office puts the cost at $46 billion.

The law allows states to expand eligibility for Medicaid, and about half the states have decided to do so. Several other states, including Utah and Virginia, are seriously considering proposals to expand the program, which already serves more than 60 million Americans.

The new cost estimate could help state officials and others pushing for the expansion of Medicaid. They could cite the new figures as evidence that the change would be less expensive than opponents contend. “The new estimates show that Medicaid expansion is an even better deal for states than previously thought,” said Edwin C. Park, an analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning advocacy group.

Continue reading here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/us/politics/forecast-cut-on-spending-for-health.html?_r=0

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