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Report: Up to 17,000 Americans may die due to GOP states not expanding Medicaid

A shocking new study finds that due to many Republican lead states refusing to expand the Medicaid program, up to 17,000 Americans will die.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is one of 23 governors who has refused to expand the Medicaid program.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Obama's heath care law, the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare," originally mandated that all states expand the Medicaid program to those whose income falls under 133 percent of the poverty line. The federal government would pick up the tab for additional enrollees for the first three years and 90 percent for each year following, leaving only the remaining 10 percent to be covered by the states. In addition, after the first three "free" years, the states could choose to opt-out of the expansion.

Following the Supreme Court decision to rule "Obamacare" constitutional, the one blow it dealt to the Obama administration was that states didn't have to expand Medicaid if they didn't want. This has lead to 23 states who have not expanded the social program that helps many low income families and a new report shows that it will have deadly consequences.

According to a new study by Harvard University and City University of New York, between 7,115 and 17,014 deaths will be "attributable to the lack of Medicaid expansion in opt-out states" and the blame will fall on the door steps of each state that refused to expand the program.

"Low-income adults in states that have opted out of Medicaid expansion will forego gains in access to care, financial well-being, physical and mental health, and longevity that would be expected with expanded Medicaid coverage."

The study also found that if the states decided to all expand the Medicaid program, over 3 million women would be able to receive regular pap smears and nearly 660,000 women would be able to receive mammograms. In addition, over 420,000 diabetics would be able to receive proper medication to to help with their disease. Samuel Dickman, one of the authors of the study, called the results "sobering."

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