Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Report: Expanding Medicaid Will Save the Lives of More Than 780 Virginians Per Year
Press Release

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

The report looks at 12 ways that Virginia’s failure to implement Medicaid expansion has been harming Virginians, 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 has literally been costing lives,” says Rachel West, director of research for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. “Once Virginia implements Medicaid expansion starting in 2019, more than 780 Virginians’ lives will be saved every year. And thousands of Virginians will no longer face avoidable financial harm solely because their state Legislature has refused to expand Medicaid.”  

The report estimates that when Virginia implements Medicaid expansion in 2019, the benefits will include:

  • Additional lives saved per year: 782
  • Additional cancer diagnoses per year: 466
  • Additional early-stage cancer diagnoses per year: 418
  • Bankruptcies prevented per year: 89
  • Reduction in families’ accrued medical debt: $389.2 million
  • Reduction in families’ collection balances: $482.2 million
  • Money kept in families’ pockets from less costly credit per year: $120.1 million
  • Savings to local communities from enhanced public safety per year: $446.5 million

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

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at jcusick@americanprogress.org or 202-495-3682.