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Expanding Medicaid: A Colorado Decision

March 4, 2013

In this presentation given to legislators on February 28, 2013, CHI's Michele Lueck and Jeff Bontrager answer the following questions about Colorado's Medicaid expansion decision:

1. What's at stake? Who would become eligible for Medicaid if the state chose to participate in the ACA's expansion of Medicaid to individuals with incomes of up to 133% of the federal poverty level? What are the characteristics of this population?

2. How did we get here? The Supreme Court's ruling in June of 2012 effectively gave states the option to participate in the Medicaid expansion - or not. Across the country, governors and state legislatures are divided in their positions on the issue.  

3. What do the studies tell us? Various studies have tried to quantify the impact of the Medicaid expansion on Colorado's people, economy, and state budget. Studies from The Colorado Trust and the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated the state and federal cost. A report from the Colorado Health Foundation looks at the larger impact of the expansion on the state's economy, such as the jobs that might be created. Governor Hickenlooper's office looked at whether or not the state could afford the expansion. 

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