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News and Notes   |    
News & Notes
Psychiatric Services 2013; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.649news
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Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Kaiser analyses examine impacts of states’ Medicaid expansion decisions: Two analyses from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured examine how decisions by states not to expand Medicaid under health care reform will blunt the law's effectiveness in reducing the uninsured population. As of mid-July, 24 states were moving forward with the Medicaid expansion, 21 states were not, and six states were still debating the matter. The Cost of Not Expanding Medicaid found that if the 27 states currently not moving forward or still debating do not implement the expansion, an estimated 6.4 million fewer people would gain coverage—nearly two-thirds of the potential reduction in the uninsured population tied to the expansion. The 21 states would forgo $35 billion in federal funds in 2016 and $345.9 billion between 2013 and 2022, and the six states would forgo $15.2 billion in 2016 and $151 billion over the longer term. The 21-page brief, available at kff.org/medicaid/report/the-cost-of-not-expanding-medicaid, also addresses implications that decisions will have for state spending for uncompensated care and provider revenues. A related brief, Analyzing the Impact of State Medicaid Expansion Decisions, puts these findings in a broader context. The nine-page brief, available at kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/analyzing-the-impact-of-state-medicaid-expansion-decisions, describes gaps in coverage by race-ethnicity and region. Among currently uninsured Americans whose low incomes would allow them to gain coverage under a state Medicaid expansion, nearly half live in states not moving forward at this time (more than eight in ten uninsured individuals in the South).

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