Medicaid Expansion Obstruction Threatens To Leave Millions Uninsured

Article from Huffington Post –  – Huffington Post Health Care Reporter – 05/03/2013

Amid all the political posturing over the Medicaid expansion that’s part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s at stake here for a vulnerable portion of the U.S. population.

Because the Supreme Court ruled that states could opt out of the Medicaid expansion that could start next year, millions of poor, uninsured adults will remain without access to health coverage and regular medical care.

The Republican governors of more than a dozen states, including Rick Perry in Texas, are adamantly opposed to the Medicaid expansion. And although the chief executives of 27 states and the District of Columbia support broadening the program, GOP legislators in a number of states are obstructing those plans.

In other words, Pearson explained in an email to the Huffington Post, a nationwide Medicaid expansion would have provided health coverage to 10.7 million people. If 26 states refuse to expand the program for next year — which increasingly appears likely — 5.3 million fewer people will join the program. A portion of those people, estimated by Avalere health to be 1.9 million, would be able to get subsidized private health insurance instead.

That leaves 3.4 million poor people uninsured because politicians in their home states decided to reject full federal funding for the expansion from 2014 through 2016 and at least 90 percent in perpetuity.

Avalere Health created a handy map with its assessments on what states are likely to do about the Medicaid expansion.

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