FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2014, 9:00 AM
Contact: Kevin D. McGee, (907) 441-2137
New Report Shows Medicaid Expansion Reduces Unpaid Hospital Bills by $5.7 BILLION: Medicaid expansion reduces unpaid bills & saves money in states that accepted it
ANCHORAGE: A comprehensive new study finds that Medicaid expansion has reduced unpaid hospital bills by $5.7 billion, an impressive 16% baseline reduction. However, these benefits only occurred in states that expanded Medicaid, so Sean Parnell has prevented Alaska from benefiting.
Reducing unpaid hospital bills is critical for all consumers because those unpaid bills cause insurance rates to go up for insured individuals. The Urban Institute estimates unpaid hospital bills raise insurance rates by $1,005 per insured individual annually. Multiple studies already documented that Medicaid rejection is driving up insurance rates, and this latest study is further confirmation.
The new report also finds that emergency rooms visits by uninsured individuals have declined, but only in states with Medicaid expansion.
"The evidence continues piling up: Sean Parnell's Medicaid decision hurts Alaska consumers and hurts Alaska businesses, said Kevin McGee, 1st Vice President of the Anchorage NAACP.
The NAACP was one of many groups urging Parnell to accept Medicaid expansion, including the Chamber of Commerce, Anchorage Faith and Action Communities Together, and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
Previous studies found that rejection of Medicaid by Parnell and some other governors is leading to the premature death of thousands of Americans.