White House continues pressure for Medicaid expansion


Twenty-four states still have yet to expand Medicaid, preventing 5.7 million people from obtaining health insurance coverage in 2016, according to a new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Many of these states could actually benefit the most under an expanded Medicaid program. As the report noted, decisions not to expand the federal-state program "are far-reaching, with implications for the health and well-being of their citizens, their economies and the economy of the nation as a whole."

In fact, if all 24 states expanded Medicaid, more than 750,000 additional people would be in excellent, very good or good health once expanded coverage was in full effect. That would then lead to lower costs for states and insurers that don't have to pay for treatment of expensive medical conditions.

The problem for many states, though, is that they fear the government won't fulfill its promise to cover all the expansion-related costs for three years and 90 percent of the costs after that, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

"This analysis shows that by expanding their Medicaid programs, states can improve access to essential medical care, reduce financial hardship, improve their citizens' mental health and longevity, and claim billions of dollars in federal funding that could boost their economies today," the report said.

By issuing this recent report, the Obama administration is hoping to compel more states into taking advantage of the opportunities provided under the Medicaid expansion. The White House particularly noted that it "stands ready to work with states" to help them expand their Medicaid programs.

To learn more:
- here's the White House report

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