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Senator Introduces Bill to Promote Medicaid Expansion

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Senator Introduces Bill to Promote Medicaid Expansion

April 25, 2016

On April 13, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the States Achieve Medicaid Expansion (SAME) Act of 2016 (S. 2787), which would codify the proposal in the White House's budget plan to promote Medicaid expansion in states that have not moved to cover more people using an enhanced Federal match permitted by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A companion bill, the Incentivizing Medicaid Expansion Act of 2016 (H.R. 4588), was introduced in the House in February by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX). The bills would give all states three full years of a 100 percent federal match if they expand Medicaid. The ACA provides a 100 percent match for the first three years, followed by a phase-down to a 90 percent match. When the Supreme Court determined that the expansion of Medicaid coverage could be optional rather than a mandatory condition of participating in Medicaid, some states opted to not expand coverage, or to expand more slowly. The proposed legislation would give states full funding whenever the state chooses to start expansion, so that states that began the process later are not penalized for having done so.