Join the Campaign


New Study Shows Medicaid Expansion Has Benefited Southern States, But Not North Carolina, Where Tillis Blocked It.

A new study published by Health Affairs this month found that Medicaid expansion slowed rates of health decline for low-income adults in southern states, including Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Louisiana. But North Carolina hasn’t seen those benefits, all thanks to Senator Thom Tillis, who blocked Medicaid expansion as Speaker of the North Carolina House, and continues to brag about it to this day. 

In addition to “lower rates of self-reported health declines,” the study found that states that expanded Medicaid also saw a “higher likelihood of maintaining baseline health status over time.” 

With the embrace of Medicaid expansion in 37 states and the clear health benefits of expansion, history will not shine favorably on Tillis’ efforts to block expansionpreventing over 600,000 North Carolinians from gaining health coverage, and costing the state 37,000 jobs

Unlike Tillis who has worked to gut health care coverage for North Carolinians, Cal Cunningham will fight to expand health care access and lower costs. Protecting and improving the Affordable Care Act will be a top priority for Cal in the U.S. Senate, and that includes supporting efforts to finally expand Medicaid in North Carolina. 

Read more about the study below.

The Hill: Medicaid expansion improved health in Southern states: Study

By Peter Sullivan — January 07, 2020

Key Points:

  • The study published in Health Affairs finds that Medicaid expansion made declines in health status 1.8 percentage points less likely in states that expanded the medical coverage.

  • It examined 12 Southern states, including those that have accepted the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, like Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana, and those that have not, like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

  • “We found that Medicaid expansion was associated with lower rates of self-reported health declines and a higher likelihood of maintaining baseline health status over time,” the study finds.

  • A majority of the 14 states that have rejected the expansion of Medicaid are in the South.

  • Resistance to Medicaid expansion has been declining, with multiple red states accepting the expansion in recent years, often through ballot initiatives that put the question to voters in the state.

  • Medicaid expansion passed by ballot initiative in Utah, Nebraska and Idaho in 2018.

  • Protecting Medicaid was one of the top rallying cries for activists fighting Republican ObamaCare repeal efforts in 2017, and advocates are now trying to build on that movement by expanding the program in the 14 states that are still resisting expansion. Texas and Florida are the main prizes, as they have the highest populations of the holdout states.

  • “Medicaid expansion improved health,” John Graves, one of the study’s authors and a professor at Vanderbilt University, wrote on Twitter. “But improvements are as much, if not more, a result of stemming of health declines as they are a result of moving people to better states of health.”