Assessing the Potential Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Uninsured Community Health Center Patients: An Update

Source: Peter Shin, Jessica Sharac, Sara Rosenbaum, George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy, Geiger Gibson / RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative, Policy Research Brief #36, May 9, 2014

From the press release:
An estimated 1.1 million community health center patients are left without the benefits of health coverage simply because they live in one of 24 states that have opted out of the Medicaid expansion, a key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new report.

The research, by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University also shows that the vast majority (71 percent) of the 1.1 million patients left behind live in just 11 southern states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA)….

….The new report updates earlier estimates to reflect health center growth between 2011 and 2012 as reported in the Uniform Data System. This latest analysis, like the previous one which was published in 2013, examines what happens to community health centers and their patients in both the Medicaid expansion states, including New Hampshire, which recently decided to expand Medicaid—as well as the 24 states that have continued to reject the Medicaid expansion….

….Shin and his colleagues estimate that the ACA would have helped 5.2 million out of a total of 7.5 million uninsured community health center patients to gain health coverage either by buying affordable policies or qualifying for Medicaid under the expansion programs. However, 1.1 million of the 5.2 million who could have gained coverage will remain uninsured due to states’ decisions to opt out of the Medicaid expansion……