MAP: How GOP Governors Resisting Obamacare Are Denying Coverage To The Poorest Americans


Medicaid proponents rally in Ohio (Credit: Columbus Dispatch)

A new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation confirms what multiple other reports have already shown: Americans living in GOP-led states refusing to participate in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion will have substantially less access to public health insurance programs and government subsidies to buy private insurance than those living in states that do.

According to the report, between 59 percent and 81 percent of the uninsured living in states expanding Medicaid under Obamacare would qualify for health coverage assistance programs like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Obamacare subsidies to buy private insurance through the new statewide marketplaces. By contrast, between 34 percent and 53 percent of the uninsured in states not expanding Medicaid will qualify for assistance:

The study also finds that expanding Medicaid will be particularly beneficial to the most uninsured states. Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia are all expected to see 81 percent of their uninsured populations qualify for some sort of assistance — either through an expanded public health program, or Obamacare’s subsidies.

“In every state, except for Massachusetts, Medicaid expansion would result in more uninsured people becoming eligible for assistance and a greater reduction in the number of uninsured,” wrote the study authors. “For example… without expansion, 36 percent of the uninsured in Mississippi would be eligible for assistance and the ACA would reduce the number of uninsured by 29 percent… [But] under the Medicaid expansion, 80 percent of Mississippi’s uninsured would be eligible for assistance, and the projected number of uninsured would decrease by 54 percent.”

The District of Columbia and 25 states are moving forward or attempting to move forward with Medicaid expansion. Another 22 states are currently refusing expansion, while the remaining three have yet to make up their minds.