The first study, from three Harvard researchers, looks at how many Americans will sign up for Medicaid, the entitlement program for low-income Americans. The CBO estimates that 16 million Americans will gain coverage through Medicaid. The Harvard researchers argue that this 16 million figure assumes only 55 percent of eligible recipients actually sign up. They come up with three scenarios for low-level, mid-level and high-level enrollment, that range from 8.5 million to 22.4 million new Medicaid recipients.
All this variance has huge cost implications; it means that the Medicaid expansion could cost anywhere from $34 billion to $98 billion by 2019.