States that don't expand Medicaid will take a fiscal hit, according to a RAND Corporation study released Monday.
The legislature passed a bill earlier this year to not expand Medicaid, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed.
The RAND study did not look at North Carolina on its own, but analyzed the fiscal impact on 14 states that aren't expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law. Those states will spend $1 billion more on uncompensated care in 2016 than they would if Medicaid is expanded, the report said. Additionally, the states are giving up $8.4 billion in annual federal payments, the report said.
The federal government and the states pay for Medicaid, but under the expansion, the federal government would pay all the costs for most of the new people from 2014 to 2016, and then gradually cut reimbursement to 90 percent.
About 500,000 more low-income people would have been eligible to use Medicaid if the state had decided to expand the program.
Senate Republican leaders have said they do not trust the federal government to keep its payment promise. Legislators are frustrated by Medicaid cost increases that have come from poor state budget forecasting.