Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Report: Expanding Medicaid Would Save the Lives of More Than 240 Utahns Per Year
Press Release

RELEASE: New CAP Report: Expanding Medicaid Would Save the Lives of More Than 240 Utahns Per Year

Washington, D.C. — A new Center for American Progress report quantifies the potential benefits of Medicaid expansion in Utah and the 18 other states that have not yet implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

The report looks at 12 ways that Utah’s failure to expand Medicaid is harming Utahns, depriving them of health-related benefits such as additional lives saved and more early cancer diagnoses, as well as nonhealth benefits such as fewer bankruptcies, lower medical debts, and enhanced public safety.

“Our report shows that not expanding Medicaid is literally costing lives,” says Rachel West, director of research for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. “Every year more than 240 Utahns die simply because they live in a state that has chosen not to expand Medicaid. And thousands of Utahns face avoidable financial harm solely because Gov. Gary Herbert (R) and the state Legislature refuse to expand Medicaid.”

The report estimates that if Utah were to fully expand Medicaid in 2019, the benefits would include:

  • Additional lives saved per year: 241
  • Additional cancer diagnoses per year: 122
  • Additional early-stage cancer diagnoses per year: 115
  • Reduction in opioid-related hospitalizations of uninsured patients per year: 860
  • Bankruptcies prevented per year: 43
  • Reduction in families’ accrued medical debt: $145.4 million
  • Reduction in families’ collection balances: $180.1 million
  • Money kept in families’ pockets from less costly credit per year: $44.9 million
  • Savings to local communities from enhanced public safety per year: $90.2 million

These and other effects are broken down for Utah and other nonexpansion states. Find the figures for your state here.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at [email protected] or 202-495-3682