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States opting out of Medicaid leave 1.1 million community health center patients without health insurance
Date:5/8/2014

WASHINGTON, DC and NEW YORK (May 9, 2014) An estimated 1.1 million community health center patients are left without the benefits of health coverage simply because they live in one of 24 states that have opted out of the Medicaid expansion, a key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new report.

The research, by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University also shows that the vast majority (71 percent) of the 1.1 million patients left behind live in just 11 southern states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA).

"These low-income patients, many of them living in the South, already face significant challenges to obtaining health care," says lead author Peter Shin, PhD, MPH, director of the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy and an associate professor of health policy at Milken Institute SPH. "Our analysis suggests these patients will remain without access to affordable insurance, which will almost certainly lead to delays in care and the risk of more serious health conditions."

The new report updates earlier estimates to reflect health center growth between 2011 and 2012 as reported in the Uniform Data System. This latest analysis, like the previous one which was published in 2013, examines what happens to community health centers and their patients in both the Medicaid expansion states, including New Hampshire, which recently decided to expand Medicaidas well as the 24 states that have continued to reject the Medicaid expansion.

In 2012, community health centers served 20.7 million patients in 8,000 medically underserved communities throughout the United States. Community health center patients tend to be uninsured or underinsured and they are typically much poorer than uninsured patients generally.

Shin and his colleagues estimate that the ACA would
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Contact: Kathy Fackelmann
kfackelmann@gwu.edu
202-994-8354
George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
Source:Eurekalert  

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States opting out of Medicaid leave 1.1 million community health center patients without health insurance
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