Implications of the ACA Medicaid Expansion: A Look at the Data and Evidence

kff-logoThis issue brief from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation examines data related to the Medicaid expansion included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). More than four years after its implementation, debate and controversy around the implications of the expansion continue. Despite a large body of research that shows that the Medicaid expansion resulted in gains in coverage, improvements in access and financial security, and economic benefits for states and providers, some argue that the Medicaid expansion has broadened the program beyond its original intent, offering poor quality and limited access to providers while increasing state costs. This brief examines evidence of the effects of the Medicaid expansion—including evidence that suggests that Medicaid expansion can result in state savings by offsetting state costs in other areas, such as behavioral health services, crime, and the criminal justice system—as well as changes being implemented through waivers.