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Medicaid Expansion in Southern States Delivered Positive Results

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    With all the endless debate about Obamacare (and Medicaid expansion) this past decade, it's easy to forget to stop and ask ourselves whether it's actually having a positive effect on the people who are using it, especially in the states that fought tooth and nail to prevent the law from being enacted in the first place but eventually decided to expand Medicaid after years of inaction. When it comes to that specific population, the answer appears to be a resounding and unequivocal "yes."

    A new peer-reviewed analysis published in the journal Health Affairs recently concluded that the Southern states that expanded Medicaid “experienced lower rates of physical and mental health declines” compared to their counterparts that haven't expanded Medicaid. Residents in these states have reported "lower rates of self-reported health declines and a higher likelihood of maintaining baseline health status over time,” among a range of other benefits. That is great news regardless of where you fall on the ideological and political spectrum because a healthy population isn't a Red or Blue issue, it's an American issue.

    What I'm interested in is whether any of the 14 states that still haven't expanded Medicaid will be swayed by this study or not. The pessimist in me takes a quick look at that map and sees *maybe* one state that may move to expand Medicaid in the near(ish) future (Wisconsin) and that's only if the Democrats retake the state legislature in the 2020. But that's about it, at least in my opinion.

    Does anyone think I'm low-balling the number of states that may move to expand Medicaid or do you agree that Wisconsin is the only realistic possibility in the near future?

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    My state has so far refused to expand Medicaid and I don't see it happening any time soon. It's a shame because we have a 9% uninsured rate and that has relatively flat for quite some time.

    To me it's not really a political issue, but it politics unfortunately dominates the discussion surrounding the issue. People that can't afford health insurance forgo preventative coverage (for no fault of their own) and only get help when the absolutely need to, costing them and, in effect, the rest of us, much more in the long run.

    It's hard for a lot of us to admit it, but providing coverage to everyone (not necessarily arguing for single-payer, but just guaranteed basic coverage) is far cheaper than the status quo.

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    BillRyan121 Wrote:

    It's hard for a lot of us to admit it, but providing coverage to everyone (not necessarily arguing for single-payer, but just guaranteed basic coverage) is far cheaper than the status quo.

    I agree with this. Seems the conversation is way to myopic most of the time; we keep focusing on certain aspects of healthcare like co-pays, premiums, out of pocket expenses, prescription drugs costs, etc and fail to consider the bigger picture that should 100% include preventative care at the forefront.

    Sure all of these topics are worth discussing but you can bring the overall cost of healthcare to this country down tremendously if we prevent preventable diseases and maladies from materializing in the first place with an emphasis on regular checkups, more education, more access to simple blood work tests and more attention to diet, exercise and healthy mental activities. Holistic is a dirty word for some reason but one we would be able to save billions or trillions collectively with if we dropped the red/blue drama and got serious about making the country healthier as a standard, and not just a country that fixes problems that could have been prevented or caught early for far less money in the long run.

    Preventative care to me is another way of saying basic health care for all. I think its the biggest aspect of it, along with the other obvious features like not turning people down for pre-existing conditions and giving everyone very affordable options to take care of any health issues at the very earliest of stages.