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Republican states won’t release Medicaid funds


Even though there is federal money on the table, many states are refusing to expand Medicaid for the uninsured or underinsured according to  a report by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit group studying U.S. health care. The report states that the refusal of the expansion by mostly Republican governors is having a dramatic impact on health care.  The report indicates that Utah, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi ranked worst in the nation for access and affordability.

The governors of these states have said on many occasions that expanding Medicaid will increase the federal deficit. These statements follow a standard Tea Party platform against President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. Despite the fact that over six million people signed up for Obamacare, hard core Republican politicians such as Ted Cruz stated that expanding Medicaid would “worsen health care options for the most vulnerable among us.”

Facts have proven that this is simply not the case. According to a report issued by the Urban Institute, the number of uninsured adults fell by 5.4 million between September 2013 and May 2014. The figures have not included the full impact of new enrollment in Obamacare programs, but overall access to health care has improved with Medicaid expansion. The difference in not expanding Medicaid is dramatic and according to the Commonwealth Fund, those most at risk are low and middle income households. States that choose to expand Medicaid allow people who fall below the federal poverty level of 138 percent, that would mean about $32,913 for a family of four. However, states that choose not to expand look only at people who make less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level. This cutoff makes them unable to qualify for subsidies on health exchanges.