What does states' refusal to expand Medicaid mean for Southerners?

This week the White House Council of Economic Advisers released "Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid," a report examining the effect of states' decisions on whether to expand Medicaid, the government health care program for low-income people and people with disabilities. The Affordable Care Act gives states the option of extending Medicaid to all non-elderly individuals in families with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

As of this week, 26 states and the District of Columbia have taken advantage of the option to expand their Medicaid programs. But only two states in the South -- Kentucky and West Virginia -- have opted for Medicaid expansion. The other 11 states that Facing South counts as part of the region -- Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia -- have opted against expansion.

This is problematic since the South has the highest portion of uninsured residents among U.S. regions, and since Southerners are more likely to report having poor health.

How might life be different for Southerners if their states were to exercise the option of expanding Medicaid? Here's what the report found:

* 1,003,000 more Southerners would have a place to receive clinic care;

* 483,000 more Southerners would get the care they feel they need for the year;

* 338,000 fewer Southerners would experience depression;

* 189,000 fewer Southerners would experience catastrophic out-of-pocket costs in a typical year; and

* 600,000 fewer Southerners would have trouble paying other bills due to their high medical bills.

To read the full report and see the breakdowns for the state where you live, click here.

People Referenced:

Comments

They are all Americans

In a word it means death for all too many people in the South, they are my fellow Americans and deserve better. Oh and don't swallow Scotty Walker's bilge water on finances, all he did was refinance the state debt at a higher interest rate and put tens of thousands of WI residents at risk with no healthcare. He is a RW shill at best.

This is not North versus South.

This is not North versus South. Many of the states who agreed to participate in the Medicaid expansion with the “Affordable Care Act” are running huge fiscal budget deficits and want (need) additional federal money anyway possible. Some of these states cannot enact their state-operated health exchanges properly (Maryland and Massachusetts) and now want to drop their programs. There are states with sound fiscal budget management (Wisconsin; Indiana; Pennsylvania; Texas) versus states with "out of control deficit spending" (California; Illinois; Michigan; Maryland). “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results” Milton Friedman.

Excuse me...Wisconsin,

Excuse me...Wisconsin, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas have sound fiscal management? Don't confuse Republican governors with effective, long range financial planning. All these states have in common is a lack of progressive taxation and a surplus of voter surpression schemes.

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