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Medicaid portion of AHCA ruling targets seniors

Fri, 29 Jun 2012 12:07:33 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

One part of yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act is to allow states to opt out of an expansion in Medicaid. Illinois Wesleyan University Political Scientist Greg Shaw says most states likely will opt out because they don't have any extra money to contribute down the road. The federal government would cover costs of expansion in the early years. Shaw says one particular segment of the population will be affected by that decision.

"About 70% of all the individuals on Medicaid are children and their parents. But, about 70% of the dollars spent on Medicaid are for old people in long term care, like nursing homes. "

So, Shaw says not expanding Medicaid under the affordable care act will likely force those older people to rely on Medicare for some services and try to fill in the gaps with their own resources. He predicts that will create a larger market segment of low end nursing homes for those without resources.

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