Graph: Medicare Expansion Reduces Share of Rural Uninsured

Mother Jones posts a powerful graph that reviews a Georgetown study and shows what the rural uninsured rate looks like for all expansion states compared to all nonexpansion states:

a powerful graph shows what the rural uninsured rate looks like for all expansion states compared to all nonexpansion states:Writes Mother Jones: “In 2009, the states are pretty mixed up. By 2016, however, there’s virtually no overlap at all: it’s all red at the top and all blue at the bottom. On average, the expansion states reduced the uninsurance rate of their rural population by 19 percentage points. The non-expansion states reduced it by only 6 points.”

“And it’s all for nothing. Literally. Expansion cost the states nothing at the start and only a tiny amount past 2020. It was virtually free, and the funding came from taxes these states were paying regardless.”

The Georgetown study, titled “Health Insurance Coverage in Small Towns and Rural America: The Role of Medicaid Expansion” reveals key findings:

  • “The uninsured rate for low-income adult citizens (below 138 percent FPL) has come down since 2008/09 in nearly all states, but small towns and rural areas of states that have expanded Medicaid have seen the sharpest declines. The uninsured rate for this population dropped sharply from 35 percent to 16 percent in rural areas and small towns of Medicaid expansion states compared to a decline from 38 percent to 32 percent in non-expansion states between 2008/09 and 2015/16.”
  • “States that experienced the biggest drop in uninsured rates for low-income adults living in small towns and rural areas are Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and West Virginia.”
  • “Non-expansion states with the highest rate of uninsured low-income adults in small towns and rural areas are South Dakota, Georgia, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, and Mississippi. Two
    states that more recently made decisions to expand Medicaid—Alaska and Louisiana—are also among the states with the highest uninsured rates for low- income adults in non-metro areas.”
  • “The non-expansion states with the biggest coverage disparities between rural areas and small towns and metro areas are Virginia (which recently decided to expand Medicaid), Utah (which will vote this fall on a Medicaid ballot initiative), Florida, and Missouri. The experience in expansion states demonstrates the great opportunity for these states to bring down the uninsured rate in small towns and rural areas and narrow the gap between metro and rural areas.”

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