News outlets examine the cost and benefits states must weigh as they contemplate expanding the Medicaid program. Also, news outlets report on the latest related developments in Georgia and North Carolina.
Marketplace: Medicaid's New Patients: Healthier, And Maybe Cheaper
Since the launch of the Affordable Care Act last fall, some five million more Americans have enrolled in the nation's health care program for low-income people. With only half the states expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, researchers believe that number would double if all 50 states moved ahead, and several new reports suggest it may be cheaper for states to go ahead than previously estimated (Gorenstein, 5/9).
news@JAMA: Community Health Centers And Patients Take Big Hit In Medicaid Opt-Out State Report Says
An estimated 1.1 million people who use community health centers for their medical needs will go without health insurance because they live in 1 of the 24 states without current plans to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new report. The analysis is based on information from the 2012 Uniform Data System, which tracks patient demographics, services provided, clinical indicators, utilization rates, revenue, costs, and quality performance in community health centers supported by the US Health Resources and Services Administration and other public and nonprofit organizations (Voelker, 5/9).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: States' Medicaid Decisions Leave Health Centers, Patients In Lurch
More than 1 million patients who use federally funded community health centers will remain uninsured because they live in one of 24 states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study released Friday by researchers at George Washington University (Galewitz, 5/9).
Georgia Health News: Enrollee Surge Due Soon For Medicaid, PeachCare
Georgia's Medicaid and PeachCare rolls will soon increase by tens of thousands of people. It's not from expanding Medicaid. Though states have that option under the Affordable Care Act, Georgia's Republican-led government has decided against it, citing costs. Instead, the growth will come from people who were already eligible for this government coverage but had not been getting it. These people, many of whom are children, have surfaced through the enrollment process in the health insurance exchange (Miller, 5/9).
Modern Healthcare: NC Senate Race Likely To Focus On Medicaid Expansion
With North Carolina State House Speaker Thom Tillis the newly crowned Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat being contested this fall, expect not only Obamacare, but more specifically, Medicaid expansion to be the focus of hot and heavy campaign rhetoric from both sides. Tillis is known in the state for his vocal opposition to expanding Medicaid there. He trumpeted that opposition during his primary campaign. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan has argued for getting changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, likely to provide herself with some political cover in a state where many voters voice disapproval of Obamacare (Kern, 5/9).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.