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States eager for new health programsPosted On Wed, April 28, 2010
The passage of the healthcare reform bill has given states the ability to expand insurance coverage and receive more funding for state-run programs. States can start taking advantage of the government's help on April 1.
Federal funding is available for states to expand their Medicaid programs so that more low income people can be covered. This has the possibility of bring 15 million people health coverage.
Some states already offer Medicaid to low come people who earn to much to qualify for it and the new health law will ensure the federal government will start putting more money into the pot. However, states must apply for these funds.
The federal government could end up covering around 60 percent of the Medicaid costs. "Given this budget environment, it would be very helpful" for the state, Jonathan Seib, Gregoire's health policy adviser told Kaiser Health News. "We are trying to take an existing commitment of state dollars and stretch it further."
States aren't required to participate in offering the extended Medicaid coverage until 2014. President Barack Obama signed the final package of provisions into law on Tuesday, March 30, for the healthcare reform bill.
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