(CNSNews.com) - As of April, there were 74,531,002 people enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program as of April, according to the latest data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
That is up 16,705,235 in the 49 states that reported their Medicaid/CHIP enrollment numbers for both the July-to-September period of 2013 (the last quarter before the Obamacare exchanges opened) and this April.
The 74,531,002 enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP as of April includes the numbers for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In the 49 states that reported both before the Obamacare exchanges opened in 2013 and in April 2017, enrollment in Medicaid/CHIP climbed from 56,803,091 to 73,508,326.
The total Medicaid/CHIP enrollment of 74,531,002 for April was greater than the population of France, which the CIA reports was 66,836,154 as of July 2016. It was also greater than the population of the United Kingdom (64,430,428) and Italy (62,007,540).
The 16,705,235 increase in Medicaid/CHIP enrollment under Obamacare is significantly larger than the population of Illinois, which was 12,801,539 as of July 2016, according to the Census Bureau.
If the 16,705,235 Medicaid/CHIP enrollment increase under Obamacare were a state, it would rank fifth in population among the 50 states—following California (39,250,017), Texas (27,862,596), Florida (20,612,439), and New York (19,745,289.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) increased the income threshold for Medicaid eligibility. The Supreme Court later ruled that the federal government could not force this expansion on states. But since the expansion took effect in January 2014, 31 states and the District of Columbia have opted to accept the expansion.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148 as amended) established 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) (effectively 138% of FPL with an income disregard of 5% of FPL) as the new mandatory minimum Medicaid income eligibility level for most nonelderly individuals,” says the Congressional Research Service.
“On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, finding that the enforcement mechanism for the ACA Medicaid expansion violated the Constitution, which effectively made the ACA Medicaid expansion optional for states,” says CRS. “If a state accepts the ACA Medicaid expansion funds, it must abide by the expansion coverage rules.”