Why Medicaid Works

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<p>Many Americans have access to health care and protection from medical debt thanks to Medicaid coverage, including individuals with disabilities and elderly middle-class adults who exhaust their savings and have no other way of paying for long-term care as they age. In fact, more than half of all U.S. adults have reported some personal connection to the program, by receiving health insurance, assistance with Medicare premiums, or support for long-term care for themselves, a family member, or friend. </p><p>With the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid to low-income uninsured people now voluntary, several states have indicated that they will turn down their share of the billions of federal dollars available for expanding the program. In a new <a href="/blog/2012/medicaid-works-public-program-continues-provide-access-care-and-financial-protection">blog post</a>, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis and senior researcher Kristof Stremikis review the evidence showing how Medicaid leads to better access to care, less medical debt, and lower mortality rates. </p>
<p>"States that choose not to participate in the expansion place not only the health and well-being of their citizens at risk, but forgo an important opportunity to strengthen their local health care delivery systems by placing them on more stable financial footing," the authors say.</p>