Despite the ongoing critiques that have been faced by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a recent study has shown that the expansion of Medicaid has had a positive impact on the health outcomes of low-income citizens. From use of healthcare to insurance quality and coverage to the diagnosis of chronic diseases, Medicaid has allowed poor Americans broadly improved health outcomes. Learn more about the positive impact that Medicaid has had on low-income individuals in today’s blog, below.
The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, analyzed the health outcomes for adults whose incomes placed them at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. They compared the changes between states that implemented Medicaid expansion and those that did not. Their findings unequivocally illustrated the importance of expanded Medicaid.
In states that expanded Medicaid, overall insurance coverage grew by nearly 8% and Medicaid coverage grew by more than 10%. In addition, residents of states that expanded Medicaid were 6% more likely to visit the doctor. Because that percentage point increase came from a sample of 10% of the population, the study estimates that Medicaid expansion increases the likelihood that an adult will make an annual visit to their physician by up to 63%.
In addition, diagnoses of chronic diseases were significantly increased.For both high cholesterol and diabetes, diagnoses were increased by at least 5%, although no change was found in cases of hypertension. The authors of the reports expressed a hope that with these concrete benchmarks in hand, the arguments around the ACA and Medicaid expansion could be de-politicized as the positive impacts of these programs has become more and more clear.
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