Kevin Drum at Mother Jones passes along a study by Kaiser Family Foundation that shows that states need not worry that Obamacare will stick them with a huge Medicaid bill:
Bottom line: the federal government is paying more than 95% of the cost of the Medicaid expansion that’s included in the healthcare reform bill. In some states the federal share is even higher. Total state spending on Medicaid will go up only 1.4%, a grand total of about $4 billion per year to cover more than 11 million people. What’s more, it might be even better than that: as Holahan says, states might find that in the end they come out in the black on overall healthcare costs since their spending on care for the uninsured will go down.
The Kansas study I linked to yesterday tells a similar story, as the chart shows. Kansas’s spending goes up a little ($2.2 million), employer spending comes down a lot, and the big burden falls on the federal government.
This isn’t to say that the coverage is free, because obviously the federal government is raising taxes to cover the cost. But it does say that some states are pressing the panic button a bit soon.
Kaiser’s study has state-by-state results and can be found here.