October 15,2018

New Report Shows Expanding Medicaid Improves Access to Care

Independent, Wyden-Requested Study from GAO Reveals Better Access to Care in States That Have Expanded Medicaid

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today highlighted a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that showed people have improved access to health care in states that have expanded Medicaid compared to states that have not expanded.

“The past two years have made it clear that affordable health care is a top priority for Americans,” Wyden said. “States around the country have an opportunity to expand Medicaid to more people – these findings help show why it’s a winning proposition for states and the millions of Americans currently left out of America’s health care system. The Republican-controlled states that have refused to expand Medicaid are grandstanding on the backs of their citizens – this report shows the cost of those political games.”

Among the report’s findings, low-income adults in states that expanded Medicaid were almost half as likely to have unmet medical needs and more than half as likely to forego medical care due to cost. The report also found that low-income adults in Medicaid expansion states were nearly half as likely to report needing mental health care or prescription medication but not being able to afford it.

The report comes as congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration continue to propose massive cuts to Medicaid, including the elimination of the Medicaid expansion which today covers nearly 12 million Americans. Today, over 2 million low-income Americans fall into the coverage gap in states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid.

The full report from GAO can be found here.