Governors from all 50 states have debated on whether to drop out of the Medicaid expansion, stemming from the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act. (Photo : Reuters)
With the Supreme Court ruling that each state has the right to opt out of expanding Medicaid, governors in five states have already decided to take the opt out approach.
The issue of Medicaid has become a dominate issue during the annual National Governors Association in Williamsburg, Virginia.
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With the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion would expand to families earning $30,000 in income, and has directed Congress to withhold Medicaid funds from a state that did not take part of the expansion.
The Supreme Court ruling stated that Congress cannot reprimand states who refuse to take part of the Medicaid expansion, which is run by states with federal reimbursements.
Since the ruling, five Republican governors have opted out of expanding their states' programs and at least four more governors planning to follow suite. The states opting out include Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and South Carolina.
"We're going to make a very careful review of it and do what I think is best for the people of Pennsylvania," said Republican Governor Tom Corbett. "The Supreme Court decision changed the dynamic."
Democrats have blamed Republicans for not taking part of the expansion, and opting out due to their political beliefs before the November elections.
Republican governors such as Mary Fallin of Oklahoma stated she will decide on the option before the November election, while Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell noted he will not set a time-frame on the Medicaid decision. Virginia was one of the 26 states to sue the federal government over the Affordable Care Act.
"My guess is that they will beat up [President Obama] for passing a great bill until he's re-elected and then join up and take the money because they know it's the best thing for their states," said Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont.
The National Council of La Raza reported that Medicaid is the only source of medical coverage in all 50 states, with 49.8 percent being Hispanic children.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health, Hispanics have the highest uninsured rates compared to other racial or ethnic groups in the country. Those without health insurance varied among Hispanic communities, with Mexicans receiving the highest percentage with 33.6. In 2010, 30.7 percent of the Hispanic population was not covered by health insurance, compared to the 11.7 percent of the non-Hispanic White population.