In a new post this afternoon, Jesse Cross-Call at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports the latest confirmation that North Carolina is shooting itself in the foot with its stubborn and shortsighted refusal to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of uninsured people under the Affordable Care Act.
As a growing number of reports increasingly make clear, a state’s decision whether to expand Medicaid as part of health reform has real-life effects on its residents and its businesses. In the 26 states and the District of Columbia that have expanded Medicaid (see map), the positive benefits are already playing out. Here’s some of the latest information:
- Hospitals are providing less uncompensated care. In Arizona, hospitals reported that the Medicaid expansion is the chief reason for a 30 percent decline in the amount of uncompensated care they have provided so far this year, compared with a year ago. The Colorado Hospital Association found a similar decline in charity care through April when it surveyed hospitals in 15 states that have expanded Medicaid and 15 that have not.
- Medicaid expansion is driving large gains in health coverage. A survey conducted by the Urban Institute finds that while the uninsurance rate is dropping across the country, states that have expanded Medicaid have seen a drop in the percentage of non-elderly adults who are uninsured by more than one-third — a 37.7 decline — while the uninsured rate fell by only 9 percent among states that haven’t expanded. A survey from the Commonwealth Fund found a similar trend. Read More