Several states will once again consider expanding access to medical care through Medicaid during their 2016 legislative sessions. The American Heart Association strongly advocates for expanded access to medical care to prevent, diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases and other chronic conditions. Medicaid is a vital part of our nation’s health care system, providing health coverage for 52 million low-, middle-income and medically-underserved children and adults. Millions of our nation’s poorest and sickest patients, including many with cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, gain access to necessary care and services through the Medicaid program. Compared to being uninsured, having Medicaid coverage increases individuals’ access to outpatient care, prescription drugs, and hospital services. Medicaid enrollees also have increased use of preventive care and are more likely to have a regular source of care than people without insurance.
A new study published online in the Journal of Health Economics suggests that access to Medicaid coverage during childhood may lead to health improvements during adulthood. For more on this story, CLICK HERE.