Senior Policy Analyst
This is the next in our “Medicaid Works” blog series, which aims to inform the debate over Medicaid’s future by providing the latest facts and figures on this essential and popular part of the nation’s health care system.
While uninsured rates continued dropping across the country in 2015 — the second year since health reform’s Medicaid expansion took effect — they fell more in expansion states, new Census data show. What’s more, a growing body of research shows that the Medicaid expansion is improving low-income people’s access to care and financial well-being.
Here are some examples:
Unfortunately, 19 states still haven’t expanded Medicaid, which has left millions of uninsured Americans without an option for affordable health coverage. Some 89 percent of them live in the South, and 55 percent are people of color. They also are more likely to have unmet health needs; for example, low-income uninsured people are more likely to have a mental illness or a substance use disorder.
The evidence clearly shows that Medicaid expansion improves access to care and financial security. Looking ahead to state legislative sessions next year, the holdout states would be wise to reconsider their opposition.