It's not a big secret that Obamacare is working to reduce the uninsured in the states that fully embraced the law, particularly those that expanded Medicaid. That's still true, according to two new studies which show that low-income patients have better access to care and hospitals are doing better financially in those states.
Fewer low-income residents of Kentucky and Arkansas, two poor states that expanded Medicaid in 2014, reported problems paying medical bills after the coverage expansions, especially compared with residents of Texas, which has rejected the health law.
And hospitals in Medicaid expansion states saw a marked decline in the share of patients without insurance, compared with hospitals in states that have not broadened access to Medicaid, a second study found.
"Our findings underscore the significant benefits of Medicaid expansion not only for low-income adults, but also for the hospitals that serve this population," the authors of that study conclude.
This isn't exactly news, though it's a well-timed reiteration of the benefits of Medicaid expansion, given that the House will be having yet another repeal vote to kick off the 2016 session. It's also a good reminder to new Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin that Medicaid expansion is a great thing for Kentucky.
The Arkansas and Kentucky study, conducted by Harvard researchers, demonstrates that Bevin's apparent decision to keep the expansion is a good one for the state that he is now leading. It's working in Kentucky. That's what's making states like Louisiana, South Dakota, and Wyoming rethink their rejection of expanded Medicaid.
So, while congressional Republicans are continuing their election year politics of Obamacare repeal, the Republicans who are actually responsible for the lives and livelihoods of people in their states are accepting the evidence and facing reality.