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Avik Roy: How a GOP Governor Walked Arizona into Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Trap January 19, 2013

One of the most transformative aspects of Obamacare is that it conscripts state governments for the purpose of providing subsidized health insurance to their residents. Most red states have done their best to refuse, by declining to expand their Medicaid programs, and by passing up the opportunity to set up state-based insurance exchanges, through which Obamacare’s subsidies would flow. But a handful of Republican governors are doing their part to implement Obamacare. Arizona’s Jan Brewer, in particular, is proposing to do so in a way that sheds a lot of light onto the trap that Obamacare has set for state governments.

Earlier this week, Gov. Brewer recommended that Arizona go along with Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Previously, parents and childless adults in Arizona were eligible for Medicaid if their income was below 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Gov. Brewer’s expansion would expand Medicaid eligibility to adults with income between 100 and 133 percent of FPL, and take additional federal money to fund Medicaid for childless adults below the poverty line.

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