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States' refusal to expand Medicaid complicates healthcare for many uninsured

American Public Media Marketplace, July 15, 2013

The health care reform law calls for a big expansion of Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor. But last year's Supreme Court made that expansion optional. And some of the biggest states, with the most poor people, are opting out. So far, 23 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to expand Medicaid, six are undecided, and 21 have said no. Among them: Texas, which is where 47-year-old Ricardo Rios lives. He would qualify for Medicaid, under the health care law's expansion plan if Texas hadn't opted out. He's praying the state's leaders change their minds. "We just have to pray that everything will go well and it'll change," he says.