The Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the Medicaid program would provide states with federal funds to help insure millions of Americans who currently can’t afford coverage, especially the low-income Americans whose annual earnings are slightly above the cut-off to qualify for Medicaid in their state. Despite the significant financial benefits for the states that choose to accept the Medicare expansion, Republican governors across the country are choosing to reject the federal funds — leaving some states with impossibly low Medicaid thresholds that remain far below the current poverty line.
Under the current program, states have varying income requirements for Medicaid eligibility. Thirty three states currently limit coverage to income levels below the federal poverty line, and 17 of those states will only cover families who are bringing in less than half of the income at the federal poverty level. In five states — Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, and Texas — a family of three with an annual income over $5,000 makes too much money to receive any Medicaid assistance. ThinkProgress examined the national disparities: