Medicaid expansion

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A health care forum in Tennessee Friday showed a partisan split in the governor's race over Medicaid expansion.

The expansion of Medicaid helps rural hospitals stay afloat in states like Colorado, which added 400,000 people to the health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act.

Hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid were about 6 times less likely to close than hospitals in non-expansion states, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

The study was published Monday in the January edition of the journal Health Affairs.

As the administration and Republicans in Congress look to scale back Medicaid, many voters and state lawmakers across the country are moving to make it bigger.

On Tuesday, Maine voters approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Advocates are looking to follow suit with ballot measures in Utah, Missouri and Idaho in 2018.

Senate Republicans' latest plan to overhaul the U.S. health care system ends with a massive shift of federal money from states that expanded Medicaid — and are largely dominated by Democrats — to those that refused to expand.

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Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion has led to a dramatic increase in substance abuse treatment services.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has examined substance abuse services covered by Medicaid between 2014 and mid-2016.

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More than 8,500 people with expanded Medicaid coverage got breast cancer screenings in May and June of this year. And more people covered under the expansion received dental, diabetes, Hepatitis C and colorectal cancer screenings.

For Freida Lockaby, an unemployed 56-year-old woman who lives with her dog in an aging mobile home in Manchester, Ky., one of America's poorest places, the Affordable Care Act was life altering.

The law allowed Kentucky to expand Medicaid in 2014 and made Lockaby – along with 440,000 other low-income state residents – newly eligible for free health care under the state-federal insurance program. Enrollment gave Lockaby her first insurance in 11 years.

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The number of emergency room visits in Kentucky hasn’t gone up much since Medicaid expanded or people started getting coverage on the individual market. That’s according to a new report from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL News, cropped

The federal government has given its most forceful statement yet in response to Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to apply for a waiver to change Kentucky’s Medicaid system.

J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL News

Gov. Matt Bevin says he’ll do away with Kentucky’s expanded Medicaid system if the federal government doesn’t approve a waiver he’s seeking to change the expansion.

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