This analysis from the University of California Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research and the University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education concludes that the expansion of Medicaid in California (Medi-Cal) would significantly expand health insurance coverage for the uninsured with minimal cost to California.

Using the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model, the analysis predicts that more than 1.4 million low-income adults will be newly eligible for Medi-Cal under the expansion beginning in 2014. Other mandatory provisions of the Affordable Care Act will lead to increased enrollment among Californians who are already eligible for Medi-Cal but not enrolled. This increase in coverage will have far-reaching benefits for Californians’ health outcomes and the California economy.

The report also estimates that the federal government will pay for at least 85 percent of new Medi-Cal spending in 2014 through 2019. In the initial years of implementation, most new state Medi-Cal spending will result from required Medicaid changes and will occur whether or not the expansion is implemented.  The report finds that the new state spending on Californians newly eligible for Medi-Cal will be largely offset by increased state tax revenues and potential savings in other areas of the budget.

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