Medicaid rolls grow in states resisting health law

A new report says at least a half-million more people have signed up for Medicaid in states that thus far have refused a federal offer to expand eligibility for the safety-net program for the poor.

The report Tuesday from the market analysis firm Avalere Health found that 550,300 new beneficiaries signed up for Medicaid in 17 of 26 that have not yet carried out the program expansion in President Barack Obama's health care law.

Georgia topped the list, with nearly 99,000 new Medicaid recipients through March.

Avalere president Dan Mendelson said the new enrollees are people who were already eligible for Medicaid, but not signed up. The requires most Americans to have coverage.

In states that expand Medicaid, Washington pays the full cost for newly eligible residents through 2016.

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