As a result, the expansion of Medicaid, a Federal-state program that provides health care for over 60 million low-income Americans, is now considered optional.
The consequences of this decision are significant.
Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion would have covered nearly half of America’s uninsured citizens, and this will now leave many of the nation’s poorest without health insurance.
But the Supreme Court’s action hurts more than the less fortunate among us.
If states decide to opt-out of Medicaid expansion – and, so far, it appears that 26 states and the District of Columbia will expand Medicaid; 21 states will not expand Medicaid; and four states are considering expanding Medicaid – everyone’s health insurance costs will almost certainly continue to rise.
Here’s one of the reasons why: doctors and hospitals provide billions of dollars in unpaid medical care to the uninsured each year. The providers then pass much of this cost on to private insurers, who, in turn, pass it on to their customers in the form of higher premiums.
Not expanding Medicaid would also cause many hospitals to suffer.
That’s because some hospitals now receive extra payments for providing care to people without insurance. When Obamacare was passed, hospitals agreed to accept cuts in these payments. If almost everybody had insurance, as the law envisioned, hospitals could afford to take those cuts. Without the expansion of Medicaid, however, hospitals will still have to provide care to lots of uninsured patients, but they...
... middle of paper ...
...te between 2014 and 2019. The funds would increase incomes for all types of health care service providers – including hospitals and their employees, doctors and nurses, nursing homes, and medical suppliers. Health care providers and businesses would spend large portions of their revenues and salaries in the state’s local economies. And, as a result, Medicaid expansion would create 18,000 jobs in all parts of Tennessee’s economy between 2014 and 2019.
In closing, it’s important to note that Medicaid has been successfully expanded before.
And, when New York, Arizona and Maine expanded the program between 2000 and 2005, according to a Harvard study, "rates of uninsured residents dropped, access to care improved, and more people reported being in very good or excellent health."
Most importantly, though, the coverage saved a total of 2,840 lives a year in these states.
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