State Medicaid Expansion: Consequences For Coverage, Death Rate and Bottom Lines

States consider what myriad of consequences a Medicaid expansion could have. In Florida, a new study has leaders wondering how many lives could be saved by expansion. Meanwhile, as many as 182,000 Iowans could gain coverage under the plan. Also, Georgia considers cuts to the program.

Health News Florida: Medicaid: Life And Death Politics
A Harvard study that found a longer life expectancy in states where Medicaid was expanded years ago could have significant implications for Florida, with thousands of lives each year riding on a decision that until now rested only on money and politics. … The difference in mortality rates, if applied to Florida, would yield about 5,680 fewer deaths per year among under-65 adults, Health News Florida calculated last week. On Tuesday, one of the study's authors, Dr. Benjamin Sommers, confirmed the math was correct and said there is no reason to think that the results wouldn't apply to Florida (Gentry, 8/1).

Des Moines Register: Report: Up To 182,000 Iowans Would Gain Insurance Under Medicaid Expansion
Up to 182,000 Iowans could gain health insurance if Medicaid is expanded, according to a consultant’s report released this morning. The report shows that it would be "financially irresponsible” to reject expansion of Medicaid, state Sen. Jack Hatch said in a Statehouse press conference. He said the average state cost of the expansion would be $161 annually per person over the first eight years. However, he acknowledged later that the state cost could climb to several hundred dollars per person by 2020 (Leys, 7/31).

Georgia Health News: Health Agency Budgets Facing Cuts In Coming Year
This year, Georgia's three main health agencies largely escaped the state budget knife. They may not be so fortunate in 2013. Gov. Nathan Deal’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) has ordered state agencies to prepare a budget that will have a 3 percent reduction in spending for both the current fiscal year’s amended budget and the fiscal 2014 blueprint. (Funding for schools apparently is exempted from the cuts.) The OPB also said that the Medicaid program is in line for an additional 2 percent cut in fiscal 2014, for a total of 5 percent (Miller, 7/31).

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