The 2013 legislative session ended a few weeks ago with the body rejecting an effort to expand Medicaid in Nebraska. Medicaid provides important financial protections to low-income individuals with chronic disease, covering critical health services and ensuring that these services remain affordable and accessible. Without the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, the very poorest and most vulnerable will likely remain uninsured. The AHA supports full expansion of Medicaid as the most effective way of ensure that low-income adults with chronic disease will have affordable access to the full range of health care services they need.
According to a recent article in the Omaha World Herald, the Affordable Care Act's authors expected Medicaid expansion to extend coverage to more than 15 million Americans, the Urban Institute reported, or about half the number of uninsured people intended to be covered. The law seeks to provide more coverage and more preventive care, resulting in fewer emergency room visits and less catastrophic illness, eventually lowering health care costs. (LiveWell Nebraska, 7/28/13)
The AHA supports expansion of Medicaid because Medicaid provides important benefits to patients with heart disease and stroke who may otherwise be uninsured. In addition, Medicaid beneficiaries with heart disease are twice as likely to take their medication appropriately than those who are uninsured. Those with Medicaid coverage are also more likely to have their blood pressure controlled than those who are uninsured.
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