Residents at the Randy Sam's Outreach Shelter sit on their cots as Jennifer Laurent, right, the shelter's executive director, walks by, in Texarkana, Texas, May 19, 2014. The poor living on the Arkansas side of Texarkana gained health coverage when the state accepted the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act, but the poor a few blocks across the border in Texas did not.
Photo by Michael Stravato/New York Times/Redux

Millions won’t have health care in states without Medicaid


More than five million Americans won’t have health insurance coverage if their states don’t expand Medicaid by 2016, a new White House report found.

An estimated 5.7 million uninsured people won’t receive health coverage in 24 different states that have opted not to accept federal funding to expand the country’s social health care program, according to the document, which was released Wednesday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Additionally, the states will lose billions of federal dollars that could boost their local economies.

On the other hand, if every state expanded Medicaid, the number of Americans carrying health insurance would increase by 10 million in two years.

If leaders in a state like Louisiana change their minds and accept Medicaid expansion, 265,000 residents could be covered, The Times Picayune reported. Some of the other states not yet expanding Medicaid include Alaska, Florida, Maine, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.

Certain residents who live in the 26 states and the District of Columbia that will expand Medicaid will qualify for health coverage if their incomes are $16,105 for a single adult. At least 5.2 million people have gained Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage in the areas that have accepted the program. Among the states expanding Medicaid are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York.

The open enrollment period to sign up for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) began last October with the now-infamous botched rollout of the health care website. Obamacare has since expanded affordable health coverage to millions of Americans.

Medicaid, jointly funded by the federal government and states, provides health insurance to eligible low-income families and individuals. It is a large component of the ACA’s overall approach to expanding health insurance coverage. The government will pay all of the costs of covering newly eligible individuals through 2016.

The report details the effects of states’ decisions regarding Medicaid expansion on access to care, financial security, overall health and well-being of residents, and state economies.

All In with Chris Hayes, 5/21/14, 9:34 PM ET

Decision 2014: Medicaid expansion

Chris Hayes, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, and Texas Lt. Gov. candidate Leticia Van De Putte look at Democratic candidates who are taking a stand against states who haven’t expanded Medicaid this election cycle.

Affordable Care Act, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Medicaid and Obamacare

Millions won't have health care in states without Medicaid