Arkansans and Kentucky are
the big winners in Obamacare
, having the largest reduction in their uninsured rate in the country. But it's not just reducing the uninsured. These two states will have a combined savings
of more than $1 billion over the next seven years, according to a Robert Woods Johnson study, and it's all thanks to Medicaid expansion. That should be a lesson to other states, say the study's authors.
Both states report expansion-related savings and Arkansas reports new revenues. When projected forward, these financial gains are likely to exceed expansion-related costs for years to come. These early savings point to Medicaid expansion paying for itself at least through SFY 202—while generating major gains in coverage and reducing the number of uninsured.
Another new study
, from the Kaiser Family Foundation, finds similar—but not quantified—savings for three other representative states, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Washington. Each of those states has results in common, all which add up to revenue increases or savings: "beneficiaries who otherwise would have qualified for pre-ACA Medicaid categories at the state’s regular match instead enrolled in the new expansion group and were eligible for the higher ACA enhanced match rate (and therefore reduced state costs"; "savings in other areas of the state budget beyond Medicaid, such as state-funded behavioral health services and corrections"; and "increased provider and premium taxes" bringing in more revenue.
Meanwhile, states that didn't expand Medicaid are losing hospitals and emergency room services, not to mention people's lives.