New Census numbers show the impact expanding Medicaid in states like Ohio has had on the number of people who have health insurance.
In 2014, the first full year of national enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured nationwide fell by more than 8.5 million people or about 19 percent from the previous year.
But in Ohio and the 23 other states plus the District of Columbia that allowed the act’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility, the decrease in uninsured was significantly greater, the new data from the U.S. Census Bureau show.
In those states, the number of uninsured declined by almost a quarter, or more than 5.1 million people.
By comparison, the number of uninsured dropped by only 13.8 percent — or 3.4 million people — in the 26 mostly Republican-led states that did not allow the expansion of Medicaid in 2014.
In Ohio, where the Republican Gov. John Kasich enacted the expansion despite opposition from many in his party, the number of uninsured dropped by 24 percent or about 302,000 people.
In 2013, Ohio had an estimated 1.25 million residents with no health insurance or about 11 percent of the population. One year later, the first full year in which residents could enroll in the ACA, that number had declined to about 955,000 or 8.4 percent of the population.
Ohio’s uninsured rate ranked 16th-best in the nation in 2013 and 13th-best last year.
While the number of uninsured declined significantly in all 50 states, according to the Census data, the states that did not allow the expansion of Medicaid lagged in the declines. The 2014 uninsured rate for the non-expansion states was 13.5 percent, compared with 9.8 percent for those states with Medicaid expansion and 11.7 percent for the nation as a whole.