CURATED BY German Lopez
2014-06-19 11:35:59 -0400
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The report in essence measures the effects of refusing some of Obamacare's optional programs. Many Southern state governments rejected the Medicaid expansion in particular because they felt it expanded a struggling program and saddled states with higher health-care costs.
"It’s like putting 1,000 more people on the Titanic when you knew what was going to happen," Gov. Rick Perry said at a 2013 meeting of Republican governors.
The KFF report covers a lot of data highlighting the unique characteristics of the South. But it can be broken down into a few key takeaways:
1) Most of the South rejected Obamacare by refusing to take up state-run exchanges, instead leaving the task to the federal government, and the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion, which the US Supreme Court made optional in 2012. (More here.)
2) The South is poorer than most of the nation, which means the region could benefit the most from Obamacare programs that disproportionately benefit the lower and middle classes. (More here.)
3) Southerners are more likely to report worse health than the rest of the country. That's another sign that the region could benefit the most from programs expanding access to health care in Obamacare. (More here.)
4) Southerners are less likely to have health insurance. Since Obamacare's primary objective is to cover as many of the uninsured as possible, the South's high population of uninsured could get the most out of the health-care law. (More here.)
5) Southerners report the most trouble accessing affordable health care. Some of these concerns could be alleviated through Obamacare by providing health insurance through Medicaid or the tax-subsidized exchanges. (More here.)
6) The South's health-care gaps hit minorities the hardest. Rejecting Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and state-run exchanges might have hurt minority groups more than anyone else, based on KFF's findings. (More here.)
7) The federal government covers most of the Medicaid expansion, but Southern states would see the largest cost increase compared to other US regions. (More here.)
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