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article imageObamacare saves states with Medicaid $5.7B for uncompensated care

By John Presta     Sep 25, 2014 in Politics
Washington - The pressure for the 23 states that have not enrolled to enroll in the Medicaid cash expansion portion of the Affordable Care Act, is increasing by the day. This year alone, those states enrolling in the Medicaid expansion will save $5.7 billion dollars.
A report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said nearly three-quarters of the total savings, $4.2 billion, would occur in the 27 states (and the District of Columbia) that have opted into the federally-funded healthcare program for the poor. The savings represents a 16 percent reduction from baseline uncompensated care spending.
The pressure to opt in to the program will not necessarily come from the voters, but an even more influential constituency, the hospitals in those states that have been taking it on the chin since the law was enacted in 2010. HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell is hoping that the data will help the hospitals lobby the governors in those states. Most of those governors are Republicans and the stand against the Medicaid expansion is purely political and ideological.
The proportion of "uninsured" Americans had been growing steadily in the ten years prior to the ACA passage. The U.S. Bureau of the Census, between 1999 and 2011, the percentage of Americans without any health insurance coverage increased from 14 percent to 16 percent.
The report said that almost 48 million Americans, or 15 percent, lacked health insurance coverage. This figure was slightly higher among states that have decided to not expand Medicaid (17 percent) than in states that have elected to expand Medicaid (14 percent).
Lack of health insurance was more common among adults aged 18 to 64 than among Americans of all ages; in 2012 41 million adults aged 18 to 64, or 21 percent, lacked health insurance.
As a result of implementation of the major coverage provisions in the ACA, the rate of uninsured adults began to drop in the first six months of 2014.
The timing of the release of the report intended to show that President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law is working, with the backdrop of the midterm elections. One of the goals of the law is to reduce the cost of "uncompensated care" among hospitals, particularly those with large populations of poor people. The ACA offers federally subsidized private insurance to consumers, in addition to expanding Medicaid. Overall, 10.3 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage since the law's enrollment provisions took effect a year ago, according to the report researchers.
A political price will be paid by some governors who resisted the Medicaid expansion, a case in point, Republican Governor Tom Corbett. He is trailing badly in the all the major polls in the state of Pennsylvania. Others will likely feel that pressure and HHS Secretary Burwell is working on converting those state leaders, reports Reuters.
States Most In Need of Obamacare | FindTheBest
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