By Ferdous Al-Faruque - 07/11/14 04:28 PM EDT
States that expanded access to Medicaid under ObamaCare greatly increased access to healthcare for the poor, especially for children, according to the Obama administration.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a monthly report Friday showing 6.7 million more people had signed up for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by May compared to last September.
“In the 38 states that reported relevant data, more than half of all Medicaid and CHIP enrollees are children, highlighting the importance of these programs to the health and well-being of our nation’s children,” CMS Deputy Administrator Cindy Mann said.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the federal government couldn’t penalize states for not expanding Medicaid, leading a number of states to opt out of the expansion.
Those states, mostly led by Republican governors, argued they didn’t trust the federal government to pay for 90 percent of the expansion’s cost.
The CMS study notes the 26 states and the District of Columbia, which expanded Medicaid, saw 17 percent more people enroll in the Medicaid and CHIP programs.
Overall, the agency says 11.4 percent more people enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid by the end of May compared to average enrollment between July and September 2013.
The report says almost 66 million people in total are enrolled under Medicaid and CHIP based on data from 49 states and the District of Columbia. Connecticut, Maine and North Dakota did not provide numbers to the CMS.