Impact of Medicaid on health of the poor

An HSPH study showing potential health benefits of states expanding Medicaid to more low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act, and possible serious negative consequences of not doing so, was cited in a New York Times editorial July 28, 2012. The piece, “Medicaid After the Supreme Court Decision,” concerned the Congressional Budget Office’s recent prediction that states with a large number of poor people would not expand their Medicaid programs as required by the health care reform law since the expansion was ruled optional by the Supreme Court.

The Times piece cited the July 25, 2012, study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine by HSPH’s Benjamin Sommers, Arnold Epstein, and Katherine Baicker. The study found that expanding Medicaid to low-income adults leads to widespread gains in coverage, access to care, and improved health and reduced mortality.

“Leaving low-income people uninsured will almost certainly damage their health,” the Times editorial stated.

Read the New York Times editorial

Learn more

Expanding Medicaid to Low-Income Adults Leads to Improved Health, Fewer Deaths (HSPH press release)

Policy Makers Should Prepare for Major Uncertainties with Medicaid Expansion (HSPH press release)

Medicaid Increases Use of Health Care, Decreases Financial Strain, and Improves Health for Recipients (HSPH press release)