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Abstract

Throughout its first forty-eight years of life, the federal Medicaid statute lacked a viable insurance pathway for most low-income adults' ineligible for employer-sponsored coverage. In what is arguably the most important public health achievement since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid fifty years ago, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) fundamentally alters this picture. Building on earlier breakthroughs for children, the ACA restructures Medicaid to cover poor adults and juxtaposes its new architecture against an affordable and accessible private insurance market for people ineligible for employer-sponsored or government insurance.

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