For Gov. Chris Christie, the Supreme Court’s historic decision upholding the Affordable Care Act offered one “ray of sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day” — it protected a state’s right to decide whether to accept billions of dollars to expand Medicaid without fear of losing existing federal aid.
But whether Christie’s comments signal his interest in scaling back Medicaid, the state and federally financed program for low-income and disabled people, he won’t say.
NJPP senior policy analyst Raymond Castro estimates the Affordable Care Act will provide the state with $22 billion in Medicaid reimbursements through 2022. Medicaid enrollment in the state — currently about a million residents — is expected to rise by 442,000 by 2016.
The large number of people expected to benefit from the Medicaid expansion, combined with the relatively low increased investment required by the state over the next decade, make opting into the program a no-brainer.
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