Administration officials are telling the states there's no pressure to decide whether to expand Medicaid for their low-income residents under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law.
The Supreme Court gave states the option of accepting or rejecting the Medicaid expansion. It's designed to cover about 15 million low-income people around the country, starting in 2014.
In a letter to Republican governors Friday, the administration says there's no deadline for states to decide on Medicaid. And states can receive federal funding to explore their options without having to pay it back if they later decline.
Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of Medicare and Medicaid, says in the letter she expects states "will recognize that this is a good deal," since federal taxpayers are covering the lion's share of costs.