Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today released the following statement in response to a Georgetown University study that finds Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has helped Nevada’s uninsured rate in rural communities drop from 42% in 2008-2009 to 14% in 2015-2016.
“Nevada’s Medicaid expansion has helped thousands of rural Nevadans no longer go without medical treatment or be forced into bankruptcy because they could not afford their medical bills. Before Nevada’s expansion, low-income residents in our rural communities had an uninsured rate of 42%, one of the highest in the country. Georgetown’s report shows just how effective Medicaid expansion has been, as Nevada’s uninsured rate among low-income rural populations has dropped an incredible 28 points to just 14%. The success of Nevada’s Medicaid expansion highlights the importance of fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act, reject cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, and for Congress to work together in a bipartisan way to stabilize the health care marketplaces and ensure that quality, affordable health insurance is available to every Nevadan.”
The Georgetown University Health Policy Institute study shows that states with expanded Medicaid coverage have shown the sharpest declines in uninsured rates, especially in small towns and rural areas. The percentage of low-income adults without insurance in rural areas of Nevada has dropped over 66% since the implementation of Nevada’s Medicaid expansion, the biggest decrease of any state other than Colorado. Throughout the country, states without Medicaid expansion are still struggling with high uninsured rates and substantial gaps between the share of low-income adults with health insurance in rural areas compared to the percentage of those covered in metropolitan areas. Medicaid expansion states have consistently been able to reduce their uninsured rates and eliminate coverage discrepancies between rural and metropolitan areas.