The Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion is doing what Tim Johnson, Stan Adelstein, and Joe Lowe have said it would do in states smart enough to adopt it. More people are getting affordable health care, and hospitals are seeing lower rates of uncompensated care, the costs that hospitals forgive uninsured patients and spread out to the rest of us.

  1. In a survey of 465 hospitals in 30 states, the Colorado Hospital Association finds average charity care in Medicaid expansion states has dropped 30% in one year. Average charity care in ACA-embracing Colorado has decreased 36% in urban hospitals and 38% in rural hospitals. In anti-ACA states, charity care has increased 11%.
  2. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe says hospitals in his Medicaid-expanding state saw a 24% drop in uninsured emergency room visits and a 30% drop in uninsured hospital admissions in the first quarter of this year.
  3. Tenet Healthcare finds a 33% decrease in uninsured and charity inpatient admissions and a 24% decrease in uninsured and charity outpatient visits in four Medicaid expansion states. The non-expansion states in its fold saw a 2% increase in uninsured and charity inpatient admissions and a 10% decrease in those cost-risky outpatient visits.

Numbers, numbers, numbers: expand Medicaid, and hospitals are more likely to get payment for treating the sick and injured.

Oh yeah: and it's nice to help more people get well.