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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Day: July 27, 2012

State Medicaid Expansions

  • Medicaid expansion may lower death rates, study says, By Pam Belluck, July 25, 2012, New York Times: “Into the maelstrom of debate over whether Medicaid should cover more people comes a new study by Harvard researchers who found that when states expanded their Medicaid programs and gave more poor people health insurance, fewer people died. The study, published online Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, comes as states are deciding whether to expand Medicaid by 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s health care law. The Supreme Court ruling on the law last month effectively gave states the option of accepting or rejecting an expansion of Medicaid that had been expected to add 17 million people to the program’s rolls…”
  • Study: New Medicaid expansion could be a lifesaver, By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar (AP), July 26, 2012, Columbus Dispatch: “States that expand their Medicaid programs under President Barack Obama’s health care law may end up saving thousands of lives, a medical journal report released yesterday indicates. Until now, the Medicaid debate has been about budgets and states’ rights. But a statistical study by Harvard researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine found a 6 percent drop in the adult death rate in Arizona, Maine and New York, three states that have recently expanded coverage for low-income residents along the general lines of the federal health care law. The study found that for every 176 adults covered under expanded Medicaid, one death per year would be prevented…”

Affordable Care Act and Safety-Net Hospitals

Hospitals fear cuts in aid for care to illegal immigrants, By Nina Bernstein, July 26, 2012, New York Times: “President Obama’s health care law is putting new strains on some of the nation’s most hard-pressed hospitals, by cutting aid they use to pay for emergency care for illegal immigrants, which they have long been required to provide. The federal government has been spending $20 billion annually to reimburse these hospitals – most in poor urban and rural areas – for treating more than their share of the uninsured, including illegal immigrants. The health care law will eventually cut that money in half, based on the premise that fewer people will lack insurance after the law takes effect. But the estimated 11 million people now living illegally in the United States are not covered by the health care law. Its sponsors, seeking to sidestep the contentious debate over immigration, excluded them from the law’s benefits…”

MinnesotaCare Expansion

Minn.’s health care safety net expands for thousands of kids, By Jennifer Brooks, July 27, 2012, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: “The state of Minnesota is expanding health care coverage to thousands of uninsured children. The new initiative, first approved by the Legislature in 2009 and finally implemented this month, will erase barriers such as waiting periods and monthly insurance premium payments for some 16,000 children from lower-income families across the state. Gloria Agbator wept when she heard the news. A single working mother, Agbator has health insurance for herself through her job, but she cannot afford the monthly premiums needed to include her three children on the plan…”