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NEWS

The Outlook for "Obamacare" in Two Maps

It wasn't just President Barack Obama who won Tuesday. His signature health care plan did as well. But while the Affordable Care Act remains alive, less clear is how its various mandates will proceed and who will participate.

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Status of State Action

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What are states saying about ACA Medicaid expansion?


Now, states that don't opt in will keep their current funding, but residents who might have qualified under an expansion will likely remain uninsured. There isn't a deadline for the expansion, but the federal government says states will receive less federal help if they decide to expand later, according to The New York Times.

As with exchanges, the states are divided.

So far, a handful u2013 including California, Washington and Illinois u2013 have already embraced the expansion. Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana have opted out.

(The states marked with scales participated in litigation against the Act that culminated in June's U.S. Supreme Court decision.)

Too Murky to Map  

Not everything is left to states. Other issues remain murky about the law, perhaps because the deadlines are further in the future.

The requirement for individuals to either buy insurance or pay a fee to the IRS begins Jan. 14, 2014. But the federal government has not made clear how vigorously it plans to pursue those who don't comply.

Here's a flow chart showing who has to pay and who doesn't.

Also unclear is the impact on employers, who will be required to provide health insurance to full-time workers beginning in 2014. Some, according to The Wall Street Journal, are responding by moving employees to part-time positions.

Finally, the Act's opponents in Congress and on the grassroots level will likely do what they can to delay or dilute these requirements, which are among its most unpopular.

If you're interested in comparing the politics further, here's a link to the final presidential election results by state.

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