Washington, D.C. — A new Center for American Progress report quantifies the potential benefits of Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin and the 18 other states that have not yet fully implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
The report looks at 12 ways that Wisconsin’s failure to expand Medicaid is harming Wisconsinites, 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 nearly 350 Wisconsinites die simply because they live in a state that has chosen not to expand Medicaid. And thousands of Wisconsinites face avoidable financial harm solely because Gov. Scott Walker (R) and the state Legislature refuse to fully expand Medicaid.”
The report estimates that if Wisconsin were to fully expand Medicaid in 2019, the benefits would include:
- Additional lives saved per year: 342
- Additional cancer diagnoses per year: 357
- Additional early-stage cancer diagnoses per year: 332
- Reduction in opioid-related hospitalizations of uninsured patients per year: 239
- Bankruptcies prevented per year: 38
- Reduction in families’ accrued medical debt: $161.9 million
- Money kept in families’ pockets from less costly credit per year: $50.0 million
- Savings to local communities from enhanced public safety per year: $247.1 million
These and other effects are broken down for Wisconsin and other nonexpansion states. Find the figures for your state here.
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