A number of states, citing the Supreme Court's healthcare decision, are reducing their Medicaid programs, saying the ruling supplants a 2010 ban on such cuts.
The court upheld most of the law but struck down penalties, in the form of withdrawal of federal funding, to states refusing to expand their Medicaid programs. Several states argue the ruling allows cuts to existing programs, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday .
In Maine, which has expanded its Medicaid program beyond national requirements, the attorney general's office has prepared a legal argument that allows health officials to remove about 20,000 recipients from the state's rolls in an attempt to save the $10 million by next July, the newspaper said.
"We think we're on solid legal ground," Attorney General William Schneider said. "We're going to reduce eligibility back to the base levels."
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas announced Monday he would not set up a state-run insurance exchange or expand Medicaid, saying in a statement he stands "proudly with a growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab," and adding such expansions "would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to healthcare."
An expanded Medicaid program in Oklahoma, on the other hand, could reduce by half the number of the state's uninsured poor, a Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured report says. Under an expanded program beginning in 2014, Oklahoma's narrowly-defined eligibility thresholds would grow to include any household at 133 percent of the federal poverty level, the Tulsa, Okla., World pointed out Monday.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said she had not yet decided on whether to accept the expansion.