Many states decided not to do the moral and fiscally responsible thing and accept the Medicaid Expansion to the Affordable Care Act. They are already paying for it. Moreover, the first three years were completely free, and subsequently, it only cost the state 10%. Their choice is killing 14,000+ Americans every single year.
The American Progress study makes it clear.
Expanding Medicaid in states that have refused to extend this lifesaving health program would save more than 14,000 lives per year, according to new data compiled by the Center for American Progress. This is just one of the staggering benefits that CAP found in researching the far-reaching effects of Medicaid expansion in the states, including reductions in infant deaths, reductions in uninsured opioid-related hospitalizations, and earlier and additional cancer diagnoses. These new estimates underscore the lifesaving effects of Medicaid expansion and its role in combating some of the nation’s most deadly health crises. The estimates also demonstrate the extent to which expanding Medicaid in remaining states would reduce bankruptcies, enhance public safety, keep money in families’ pockets, and more.
The results are startling. It is morally reprehensible that 17 states continue their refusal to save the lives of many of their citizens.
Yet in 17 states, lawmakers have blocked their constituents from sharing in these benefits. As of 2018, 18.4 percent of nonelderly adults in nonexpansion states lacked insurance; this rate is more than twice that of nonelderly adults in expansion states, at 8.7 percent.5 In their refusal to expand Medicaid, governors and state legislators not only continue to harm the 7.4 million Americans who would be enrolled in Medicaid in 2019 if expansion took place (see Table 1), but they also deprive their states’ residents of greater financial security, enhanced public safety, and longer lives.6 CAP estimates that if remaining states were to fully expand Medicaid, the benefits would include:
- Additional lives saved per year: 14,361
- Additional infant lives saved per year: 141
- Additional early-stage cancer diagnoses per year: 5,034
- Reduction in uninsured opioid-related hospitalizations per year: 17,577
- Additional bankruptcies prevented per year: 1,517
- Reduction in families’ accrued medical debt: $6.8 billion
- Money kept in families’ pockets from less costly credit per year: $2.1 billion
- Savings to communities from enhanced public safety per year: $7.7 billion
This report offers new numbers on how nonexpansion state lawmakers are holding their states back. It provides state-by-state estimates of the far-reaching benefits that each nonexpansion state could expect from expanding Medicaid based on multiple recent academic studies.7 As the positive evidence of Medicaid expansion’s effects continues to mount—and nonexpansion states are left increasingly far behind—residents of nonexpansion states deserve to know what their elected officials are denying them.
These states also hurt their economies and make the lives of their citizens much more difficult. Many rural hospitals close ensuring not only poor healthcare and danger to their constituents in need of emergency or critical care, but it negatively affects local economies as health-related jobs and care disappear. These politicians must be held accountable.
Read the entire report here (Expanding Medicaid in All States Would Save 14,000 Lives Per Year – Center for American Progress).