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Impact of the Medicaid Fiscal Relief Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), enacted in February 2009, has provided $103 billion in federal fiscal relief to state Medicaid programs over a period of two-and-a-half years to help them address the effects of the 2007-2009 recession. During a recession, unemployment increases and state revenues decline, making it difficult for states to meet the increased demand for Medicaid coverage among the newly unemployed. This brief reviews the ARRA Medicaid fiscal relief provisions—how they were structured and what impact they had on state Medicaid finances during the recession.

Issue Brief (.pdf)