GAO Report on Medicaid Expansion / by AzHHA

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

Low-income adults in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act were less likely to report having any unmet medical needs compared with those in non-Medicaid expansion states, according to a Government Accountability Office report released last week. The report, which analyzed data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey, found:

  • About 26 percent of low-income adults in Medicaid expansion states reported having unmet medical needs compared to 40 percent in non-expansion states.

  • About 9.4 percent of low-income people in Medicaid expansion states said that they passed up needed medical care in the past 12 months because they couldn't afford it, compared to 20 percent in non-expansion states.

  • About 82 percent of low-income adults had a usual place of care in Medicaid expansion states compared to 68 percent in non-expansion states.

Access to medically necessary care is the primary reason AzHHA was a strong supporter of then-Governor Jan Brewer’s 2013 initiative to restore Arizona’s Prop. 204 program, and it’s why we continue to support the program five years later.