Improving U.S. Health with Medicaid


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Expanding Medicaid Benefits American Healthcare

In January 2014, 26 states within the U.S. elected to expand Medicaid eligibility guidelines. This permitted adults between 19-64 years of age with an annual income equaling up to 138% of the federal poverty line (FPL) the option to apply for Medicaid services. From 2014 to 2020, 13 more states adopted the Medicaid expansion, leaving 12 states opting against putting the new guidelines in place.

Since 2014, the first 26 states showed a decrease in uninsured Americans from 42% in 2014 to 21% in 2018. The recent 13 state expansion showed the numbers of uninsured Americans had decreased from 52% in 2020 to 42% in mid-2021. Because of the significant decrease in uninsured citizens, the number of Americans who improved their health within the last 5 years grew exponentially. Improvements were also seen with a decreased rate for diabetes and other serious chronic health concerns.

Medicaid May Help Decrease Blood Pressure

Research has found that the expansion of Medicaid may be associated with the increased number of Americans who improved their blood pressure levels within the last 5 years. Many lower-income citizens have very few resources to improve their health for the long term and lack the financial stability to afford traditional healthcare. Therefore, the expansion of Medicaid eligibility may also lead to improved chronic health conditions for marginalized populations and communities of low income. This should be an important consideration for the 12 states that have yet to adopt Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid Benefits Low-Income Citizens

With 12 states electing not to expand their Medicaid guidelines, millions of uninsured Americans are barred from accessing low-cost health insurance, leaving many unable to receive the most basic of necessary healthcare services. Medicaid expansion can help save lives and may result in an increase in financial security for those who remain uninsured. These states may also see a substantial amount of savings and new profits if they elect to expand Medicaid eligibility opportunities to their citizens.

This Medicaid expansion exhibits a clear link to the overall quality of care and servicing capacity presented at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). These centers serve 30 million low-income citizens across the United States, providing many primary healthcare services to those in underserved areas. As a result, the expansion of Medicaid could improve the financial revenues of FQHCs, which in turn may expand their capacity limits and improve the overall quality of care given, not just to the newly insured, but to all patients residing within the FQHCs.


Although this expansion took root in most states almost 7 years ago, it has taken a significant amount of time for newly insured citizens to form a better connection to available care and the healthcare management system. Unlike anything seen before, many individuals now have access to resources such as prescription medications, annual check-ups, and healthcare consultations to improve their health. It also takes some time for FQHCs to make investments in new patient revenue to improve their quality of care for all residents.

By expanding Medicaid opportunities in all states across the U.S., improvements within our healthcare system may lead to a major decline in sickness and disease for all Americans.

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About Brittany Herring

Born and raised in Houston, TX, Brittany made the move to Dallas, TX to expand her marketing career. As a 2019 business marketing graduate from Stephen F. Austin State University with a background in social media, Brittany joined Empower Brokerage in the summer of 2021 serving as a Marketing Specialist and RSD Liason.

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