Washington, D.C. — A new Center for American Progress report quantifies the potential benefits of Medicaid expansion in Tennessee and the 18 other states that have not yet implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
The report looks at 12 ways that Tennessee’s failure to expand Medicaid is harming Tennesseans, 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 680 Tennesseans die simply because they live in a state that has chosen not to expand Medicaid. And thousands of Tennesseans face avoidable financial harm solely because Gov. Bill Haslam (R) and the state Legislature refuse to expand Medicaid.”
The report estimates that if Tennessee were to fully expand Medicaid in 2019, the benefits would include:
- Additional lives saved per year: 684
- Additional cancer diagnoses per year: 442
- Additional early-stage cancer diagnoses per year: 375
- Reduction in opioid-related hospitalizations of uninsured patients per year: 1,576
- Bankruptcies prevented per year: 144
- Reduction in families’ accrued medical debt: $350.5 million
- Money kept in families’ pockets from less costly credit per year: $108.2 million
- Savings to local communities from enhanced public safety per year: $537.7 million
These and other effects are broken down for Tennessee and other nonexpansion states. Find the figures for your state here.
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