Idaho and Utah voters will decide whether to expand Medicaid at the ballot this November. Those voters might want to look at a report out this week that assessed how the expansion of the federal health care program played out.
The study out of Georgetown University shows that the number of uninsured adults went down in states that expanded Medicaid. Colorado in particular saw one of the biggest drops.
The report also shows that expansion increased access to healthcare in rural areas - that’s about a quarter of the population in our region as a whole.
Lauren Necochea is with the nonprofit Idaho Voices For Children and says:
"By helping keep rural hospitals open, Medicaid helps not only families that enroll but also entire communities that benefit from the availability of rural health care providers."
In the Mountain West, Colorado and Montana are among 34 states that have opted to expand Medicaid. Idaho, Wyoming and Utah did not. Although that might change come November.
Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.
Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.