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Saturday, October 22, 2016

According to an Urban Institute study, if all 50 states expanded Medicaid, “an estimated 10.3 million poor uninsured adults would have new options for insurance coverage.”

Unfortunately, because the Affordable Care Act gives states the right to decide whether or not to expand Medicaid — the law provides complete funding of Medicaid for the next three years, which means the cost of expansion is covered by the federal government, not the states — many Republican-controlled states across the nation have rejected expansion of the program that offers coverage to the poor, elderly, and disabled.

In the 25 states that have decided against expanding Medicaid as of January, the study finds that an estimated 5.8 million Americans – accounting for 27.2 percent of all uninsured adults nationwide — will not be eligible for health coverage through the program.

The reasons have overwhelmingly been tied to ideology and party politics. GOP lawmakers have argued that Medicaid expansion is “big government” intrusion and detrimental to state economies.

According to the report, in many of these states, uninsured residents with incomes between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level may qualify for subsidies to purchase coverage through the federally run exchanges. Uninsured adults with incomes below the poverty level will not have access to any new coverage options.

Several states that have opted out of expanding Medicaid are considering alternative plans that would offer coverage to their poorest residents. Pennsylvania, Utah, and New Hampshire – among the 25 states not expanding Medicaid included in the study – are adopting variations of Arkansas’ “private option” plan that would use federal funds to subsidize private coverage for low-income residents.

But in states that are not considering alternative plans, poor adults will not have access to any coverage. Of the 10.3 million adults that could have benefited from a Medicaid expansion, only 4.4 million – accounting for 21.2 percent of the nation’s uninsured adults — will definitely be eligible for Medicaid coverage.

More alarming is that most of the states that have rejected Medicaid expansion and are not considering alternative plans to protect patients have some of the highest rates of uninsured individuals in the nation.

According to a report released by Gallup in February, the number of uninsured Americans across the nation has risen to 17.3 percent in 2013 from 14.8 percent in 2008. Texas has the highest uninsured rate: 27 percent of residents do not have access to health insurance. Still, Texas has fervently opposed the idea of Medicaid expansion. Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana – the states with the third, fourth, and fifth highest rates of uninsured residents, respectively – have also rejected Medicaid expansion.

“A pattern has emerged that reveals that states with the highest rates of uninsured residents are among the least likely to expand Medicaid and to establish state-based exchanges,” Gallup’s Dan Witters noted in the report.

States that refuse to expand Medicaid and establish marketplaces will lose billions of dollars that the federal government would have provided.

Photo: ProgressOhio via Flickr

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  • 4sanity4all

    Texas, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana have been very anti-Affordable Care Act from the get go. I wonder if the people who live there are aware of what they could have had, if their state leaders were not so ideologically driven? I wonder if they have any information that would lead them to conclude how little their state legislators care about them? I know that Texas passed a law that made it illegal for ACA Navigators to do their job, that is, informing people about what is available. It all sounds like something from a bad 60’s political satire movie, but unfortunately for Texas residents, it is true. Maybe when residents of those four states talk with their relatives in other states, and they find out what they could have had, it will be like awakening a sleeping beast. It seems illogical that, in this age of computers and round the clock news, people in those states would not have heard about what is going on in the rest of the country. But I guess that Conservatives have a stranglehold on news outlets in those states, and the message that people there have been hearing has been carefully controlled, to present only a biased point of view. I feel sorry for the people who will be denied healthcare, because it will lead to needless suffering and death. But it looks like it is coming, so I hope there will be a backlash, the likes of which has never been seen in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

    • luzzjl524

      My Uncle Caleb just got red Ford Focus ST
      by working off of a computer. try this B­u­z­z­3­2­.­ℂ­o­m

      • Jim Myers

        Who gives a rat’s ass about your Uncle Caleb?

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      It’s easy. The Republicans keep warning them about that “PERSON” in the White House and how evil he is, so they MUST keep anything he proposes from succeeding. Even if it means the people will have to do without health care. And those same sheep keep drinking the Kool-Ade!

    • SeekingOut

      I think Dems ground troops should go on a concerted effort to reach out to potential sign-ups; at the same time they could ensure that they are registered to vote, have their ID’s in place, if required and are prepared to go and do their civic duty when the time comes. Success with Obamacare at the practical level would speak for itself and IMO will be the most effective counter to Koch’s advertising blitz.

    • Independent1

      Few commenters other than yourself, seem to have brought out the fact that denying the expansion of Medicaid to 5.8 million Americans is going to result in higher rates of premature death – I believe the CBO is estimating that 17,000 Americans will die unnecessarily early this year because they were not included in the Medicaid expansion.

      And with respect to Florida, Charlie Crist has estimated that Rick Scott’s refusal to push for expanding Medicaid will end up with 6 Floridians prematurely dying each day. See this:

      It’s puzzling to me that if it can be proven that these governors who have decided not to expand Medicaid for ideological purposes are in fact resulting in people prematurely dying – why are they not as quilty of murder as some spouse how slowly kills their partner by feeding them arsenic?? In my mind, these politicians should be jailed and at least charged with manslaughter.

      • Allan Richardson

        What, are you against the funeral industry? Do you realize how many gravediggers will be laid off if 30,000 deaths of young people and children are prevented? They will have to wait 40, 50, maybe even 80 years for those people to die, and the gravediggers will have to go on welfare!

        • Independent1

          OH!!! Is that why the GOP is okay with killing people off??? Because it will look good for their supposed support for small businesses that are involved in burying the dead!! I get it now!!! Thanks for the enlightenment!!!

  • docb

    Ah…Now we see clearly the Gop baggers DEATH PANELS…Repub doofasses projected it on the left but were really providing themselves….GUILTY as charged…Hope this is blanket covered in every State…Nation media !

    Repub bagger States rights serving the public good!

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    And the ironic thing is these same Republicans will appeal to those people they keep off Medicaid about how bad government is and how they will keep government from hurting them. Then, these same people will vote against their best interests and vote to those who appeal to their fears and reelect these Republicans!

  • howa4x

    This shows the mean spirited nature of the republican governors and legislatures. These are some of the same states that push creationism over evolution to be taught in schools. I guess being a good Christian and a staunch evangelical is to be hostile to the poor and struggling people. It seems we practice a perverse form of the religion invented to go along with capitalism and the accumulation of wealth and to show scorn and ridicule to the poorest and most vulnerable. This is why the Tea party along with evangelical support could take food from hungry children and feel religious vindication for it.
    Denying access to healthcare goes along with this mindset, that the poor are getting something they didn’t work for or deserve. It is not on their radar that a lot of those that qualify for the Medicaid expansion are the working poor whose corporate masters have found it more profitable to get the government to pay benefits for their employees. The actual poor get traditional Medicaid so this is not about those that don’t work and are looking for a government handout , but those who do work but are just not making it.
    Plus the states that are not taking the Medicaid expansion are those with the poorest health outcomes. Texas is the fattest state and while not casting weight dispersions, they suffer from diseases like diabetes and heart disease at a higher rate. This just means that people with out access to primary care, will enter the illness intervention system in need of more expensive care that the states will pay for out of taxpayers pockets.
    Seems so illogical doesn’t it. Where is Spock when we need him?

    • stcroixcarp

      Scott Walker of Wisconsin is the meanest of them all. He is also a dropout, a cheat, and a failure as an administrator. He is under a John Doe investigation into illegal campaign activities.

      • howa4x

        He is the ass wipe for the Koch bros so whatever comes to him is well deserved.

  • elw

    Those same States have always been quick to reject federally funded health care programs and when they did adopt them they often mismanaged the fund and had to return them. Remember those States are ran by people who fight to save unborn babies but care less if the living ones starve to death or die from a curable disease because they had no health care coverage.

  • charles king

    People, do not be fooled by these politicians Who? are only out for their selfs and getting away with it because Democracy works for All. With your Vote just do some (Critical Thinking) There is nothing You can’t solve, and can do with Democracy, Democracy, Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare all of these (so-call Social Programs) Works, and all the MONIES in the World over CAN NOT STOP THESe PROGRAMS. Its Your government that protect your Democracy , so Do NOt Let these Plutocracts and Others tell you that (Big Gov. Is the problem) just think about the problem and I am sure you will see through the (Smoke Screen) Smile. Thank You are the magic words with me. I Love Ya All. Check-out Plutocracy Vs Democracy Mr. C. E. KING

  • dpaano

    I wonder who will pay for their medical care when they go to the ER for care and have no insurance….will it be the state or the taxpayer (which I thought we were trying to get away from with ACA). Just asking….

    • Robert Roberto

      Without the tax payers the State would not have the money to pay, so it is the tax payers paying for them.

    • DurdyDawg

      Speaking of the ER (of which Mitten’s said was the poors’ outlet) it means literally “Emergency Room” and that’s their objective thus anything less than an emergency creates a long line of frustrated waiters who are eventually treated with such OTC meds such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen and a quick suggestion to follow through with their own doctor.. No treatment but fully charged to the State.. It’s a political sham perpetrated by the pups.. An ER needs to be used as an emergency, not a ‘sniffles’ outlet.