Dr. Peter Shin, director of the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy and an associate professor of health policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS), published new data on Oct. 16, 2013, at the SPHHS website that explains the fate of people dependent on community health centers in states that opted out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Fifty percent of the states in the United States have opted out of the ACA leaving about one million people who were dependent on the 1,128 community health centers across the United States with no safety net provision for their health care.
The majority of those people live in southeastern and southern states that opted out of the ACA.
The states that opted out will not receive approximately $555 million the states would have received had those states expanded Medicaid. The states that opted out of the ACA are by law still responsible for treating all community residents including those who lack health insurance or the means to pay for care. The states must either squeeze their budgets for the loss or increase taxes.
The tax payer gets stuck with the cost of health care for people dependent on community health centers as their only source for health care regardless of whether the state opted in or opted out of the Affordable Care Act.