Six-month-old Hazel Garcia chews a pamphlet at a health insurance enrollment event in Cudahy, California March 27, 2014. More than 7 million people have now signed up for private insurance plans under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law

Over half—56 percent—of previously uninsured people got assistance to get coverage under Obamacare through expanded Medicaid, CHIP, or subsidized private coverage, and if the states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would reverse course, they could provide coverage to 59 percent of their currently uninsured populations. That's one of the findings from a new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on coverage after Obamacare's implementation.

Their key findings:

  • In states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA, 68 percent of the uninsured became eligible for assistance, compared with only 44 percent in states that have not expanded Medicaid.
  • If nonexpansion states were to expand Medicaid eligibility, 71 percent of their uninsured would be eligible for assistance.
  • Among states expanding Medicaid, the ACA is projected to reduce the number of uninsured people by 56 percent, compared with a 34 percent reduction in the uninsured among states not expanding Medicaid.
  • If the states that have not expanded eligibility were to do so, the number of uninsured in those states would decrease by 59 percent.
A decrease of nearly 60 percent in the number of uninsured people would mean 60 percent fewer people getting emergency room treatment that hospitals and states have to eat because there isn't another payer. It means 60 percent more people getting preventive care that could mean lower health care costs for them in the future. It means that many more people getting things like flu shots, helping to keep everyone in their communities healthier. It means making life that much better and easier for 60 percent of the states' uninsured people.

There's nothing about Medicaid expansion that doesn't make sense morally or economically. The whole problem is political, and the destructive point Republicans insist on making is killing people.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu May 29, 2014 at 12:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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