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Research: Medicaid Expansion Improves Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 2, 2014

Statement attributable to:

Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH

President and CEO

America’s Essential Hospitals

 

WASHINGTON—“A report issued today by the White House Council of Economic Advisers confirms the numerous benefits of Medicaid expansion and demonstrates that state decisions not to expand have far-reaching consequences ‘for the health and well-being of their citizens, their economies, and the economy of the Nation as a whole.’”

“According to the report, 26 states and the District of Columbia have expanded their Medicaid Program, improving access to care for millions of low-income citizens. Essential hospitals have been leaders in getting the newly eligible signed up for coverage. Their commitment to improving access has helped enroll the 5.2 million who have gained Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage in expansion states since the beginning of the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment.”

“Essential hospitals are committed to serving the underserved. And that commitment doesn’t end with Medicaid expansion. In fact, a significant number of uninsured will remain in expansion states. And essential hospitals in both expansion and non-expansion states will continue to care for the bulk of these patients. It is imperative that financial support for essential hospitals is maintained so they can continue to care for these vulnerable populations and fill the other vital parts of their mission: to train the next generation of clinicians; deliver comprehensive, coordinated care to communities; provide specialized, lifesaving services, such as trauma and neonatal intensive care; and advance public and population health.

“America’s Essential Hospitals has always advocated for coverage expansion to improve access to care for all individuals. And the report notes that gaining coverage increases individuals’ regular and preventive care, brings them greater financial security and productivity, and improves mental and overall health. Alternatively, if the 24 non-expansion states do not change course, ‘5.7 million people will be deprived of health insurance coverage in 2016.’ Those left uninsured will not gain the crucial benefits, and states themselves will pass up billions in federal funding that could help strengthen their economies. In fact, if every state expanded coverage, there would be 183,800 more jobs next year—boosting demand for goods and services and increasing overall economic activity.”

 

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About America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Essential Hospitals, formerly the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. It supports members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our more than 200 members are vital to their communities, providing primary through trauma care, disaster response, health professionals training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care. Visit EssentialHospitals.org to learn more.

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About the Author

Laycox is a former senior writer/editor for America's Essential Hospitals.