What They're Saying Around the Country: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid

Today, the Council of Economic Advisers released a report, Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid, which shows the effects of state decisions regarding Medicaid expansion on access to care, financial security, overall health and well-being of residents, and state economies. 

Under the Affordable Care Act, states had the opportunity to expand Medicaid coverage to give citizens in their states access to affordable health care, and in return receive 100 percent of federal funding to cover those costs for the first three years and no less than 90 percent federal support in the years ahead.

A number of governors and legislators in both parties decided to put people over politics by expanding Medicaid in their states. To date, 26 states have chosen to do the right thing by expanding coverage, and in those states, 5.2 million Americans have gained access to affordable health care through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Unfortunately, some governors and legislators are still holding hostage a Medicaid expansion that we know would help thousands of their residents, reduce the rate of uninsured, and could have significant economic benefits for their states. 

And now, in this report, we can see the opportunities that these states are missing out on.

Here is a small sample of the coverage that the report has received across the country:

ArkansasArkansas Democrat-Gazette (Wire): "Medicaid expansion aided state"

Medicaid expansion generated jobs and increased the number of people receiving preventive care in Arkansas and 25 other states that took part in the program, President Barack Obama's administration says.

FloridaTampa Bay Times (Leary): "White House to Rick Scott: Medicaid expansion would create 63k jobs"

The White House has a Medicaid expansion argument for Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Republicans: It creates jobs. A state-by-state report to be released Wednesday (an advance copy was provided to the Tampa Bay Times) estimates that Florida would generate 63,800 jobs, mainly in health care, from 2014-2017. That’s the three years that the federal government would have paid the entire cost of providing health care to 848,000 people. The study by the Council of Economic Advisers – titled "Missed Opportunities" – is part of an ongoing push by the Obama administration on a central part of the Affordable Care Act. It makes a number of other claims evaluating states that have expanded and Florida and 23 others that have not.

IllinoisChicago Sun-Times (Thomas): "Illinois benefitted from expanding Medicaid: White House"

More Illinois residents will have health insurance by 2016, jobs and be screened for conditions such as heart disease, because Illinois chose to expand Medicaid. That comes from an analysis of all states released today by the White House, in an attempt to get more states to expand Medicaid.  The study was done by the Council of Economic Advisers, which is an agency of the president’s executive office. Among other things, the study found that if all the states expanded Medicaid, 10 million more Americans would have health insurance by 2016.

LouisianaThe Times-Picayune (Alpert): "New White House report: 5.7 million people losing out on health care because 24 states won’t expand Medicaid"

Louisiana and 23 other states that have opted not to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid will deprive 5.7 million people of health coverage in 2016, according to a report being released Wednesday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The report said if Louisiana reverses course and accepts the Medicaid expansion, 265,000 residents could gain health coverage in 2016. The federal government is picking up 100 percent of the cost for the expansion through 2017, and, after that, no less than 90 percent, as part of the 2010 health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

OhioColumbus Dispatch (Candisky): "White House report touts Medicaid expansion in Ohio"

Ohio’s decision to expand Medicaid has led to a decline in the number of uninsured, added jobs and improved access to cholesterol screenings, mammograms and other preventive care, a new report says. The benefits for states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act were laid out in a report released today by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, six months after Medicaid expansion took effect. The report estimates that more than 4.3 million people will gain health coverage by 2016 in the 26 states where Medicaid was expanded.

OklahomaOklahoman (Casteel): "White House argues for Medicaid expansion"

Oklahoma and other states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are denying health care and economic benefits to citizens because of short-term political considerations, a White House official said in a new report Wednesday. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said much of the debate over allowing more people on the Medicaid rolls “has gotten bound up in politics,” including the assertion by some governors that states would be on the hook for major spending increases in the future.

PennsylvaniaPittsburgh Post-Gazette (Mauriello, Giammarise): "White House begins new push for Medicaid expansion"

So far, 26 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to expand Medicaid coverage, providing coverage to 5.2 million more people. But 5.7 million more people could be receiving the coverage in states that are forgoing the expansion and missing out on a combined $88 billion in federal funding through 2016. Pennsylvania is among them, and the White House says its residents are suffering physically and economically because of it. The administration today begins a new push to get more states to expand their programs. It makes its case with a new report showing how states that expanded their programs are benefiting from a surge of federal money that goes along with the expansion.

TennesseeThe Memphis Commercial Appeal, Knoxville News Sentinel (Collins): "Report: Medicaid expansion would benefit thousands in Tennessee"

Thousands of Tennesseans would have better access to potentially lifesaving health care and would no longer have to worry about getting hit with crippling medical bills if the state expanded its Medicaid coverage, according to a new White House report. At least 234,000 people across the state would have health insurance by 2016, and more than 57,000 would be able to take advantage of preventive health care such as cholesterol screenings, mammograms and Pap smears, said the report, which looks at the consequences of states’ refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

TexasDallas News (Landers): "White House touts Medicaid expansion for Texas"

The Obama administration Wednesday lamented the refusal of Texas and 23 other states to participate in Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid. A report from President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors (“Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid”) found the state would miss out on $13.73 billion in federal funds over the next three years, and Medicaid coverage for another 1.2 million people, if it continues to refuse to participate.

WisconsinUSA Today/Gannett (Slack): "White House: Walker Medicaid decision hurting Wisconsinites"

President Barack Obama has not given up on trying to coax Wisconsin into reversing course and expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The White House Council of Economic Advisers is slated to issue a 40-page report today outlining what it says are the consequences of the decision by Gov. Scott Walker — and 23 other states — not to expand the health insurance program for the poor. For starters, the report says, 120,000 more Wisconsinites would have health insurance, 5,400 fewer would face catastrophic, out-of-pocket medical costs annually, and some 11,200 jobs would have been created in the state in the next three years. Federal spending in Wisconsin would have increased by an estimated $2.6 billion between now and 2016, according to the report.

WyomingCasper Star-Tribune (Graff): "White House says Medicaid expansion would cover 16K Wyoming residents"

A new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers released Wednesday found more than 16,000 Wyoming residents would gain coverage if the state were to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The White House report utilized data from the Urban Institute, a nonprofit social and economic policy research group, and a study of the Oregon Medicaid expansion conducted by the National Bureau of Economics. The report lauds the 26 states that have already elected to expand Medicaid and argues that choice improved access to care, boosted job creation and state economic activity.

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