Health care law's future: four scenarios

3. State issues

Jack Plunkett/AP/File
Gov. Rick Perry gives his State of the State speech in the Capitol's House chamber in Austin, Texas on Feb. 8, 2011. A Texas House committee has proposed a bare-bones budget that would underfund public schools by almost $8 billion and Medicaid by $4 billion.

Despite the court challenges and stiff Republican opposition, the federal government is moving ahead with implementation that mostly falls on the states.

A number of state governors, primarily Republicans, have balked at the added cost of the law to already tight budgets. States must set up insurance exchanges to help consumers and small businesses purchase insurance. States also have to maintain their Medicaid coverage for the poor until the program is expanded in 2014 to cover millions more low income people.

The Medicaid healthcare program is run by the states with federal financial aid, and many governors are looking to cut Medicaid spending to help balance budgets that took a huge hit during the economic recession.

The federal government will pick up the cost of expanded Medicaid coverage for three years, but many states worry about future added costs.

Some states are dragging their feet on establishing the insurance exchanges that are to go into effect in 2014, leaving it to the federal government to step in and operate them.

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