The Supreme Court decision of June 2012 left states free to decide on how to undertake Medicaid expansion without facing the substantial financial penalties envisioned by the Affordable Care Act.
Currently, 25 states and the District of Columbia are moving forward with the expansion; 22 have decided not to move forward and the remaining four are still debating the issue.
The evidence to date suggests Medicaid expansion would have several benefits to states including improved population health from expanded coverage, improved financial positions of hospitals and other providers, and economic benefits such as increased employment and tax revenues.
Because of these potential impacts of Medicaid expansion on patients and providers of health care, the nursing profession may wish to play an educational or advocacy role in the ongoing debate.
To learn more, see Hahn & Sheingold (2013). Medicaid expansion: The dynamic health care policy landscape. Nursing Economic$, 31(6), 267-272, 297.