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Report Looks at First 50 Years of Medicaid in Nevada, Nation

Medicaid celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Courtesy: medicaid.gov
Medicaid celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Courtesy: medicaid.gov
July 22, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. - A new report shows how many people in Nevada benefit from Medicaid as the program's 50th anniversary on July 30 draws near.

Judy Solomon, vice president for health policy at the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said Medicaid provides health coverage for nearly 400,000 low-income seniors, children and people with disabilities in the state.

"Almost half of the births in the state being covered by Medicaid, almost 10 percent of seniors and a good portion of people with disabilities," she said.

Solomon said the program also helps to improve financial security, because people with Medicaid are less likely than people without insurance to go into medical debt or to leave other bills unpaid to cover their medical expenses.

She said the Affordable Care Act, which led to Medicaid expansion in Nevada and many other states, may be the most significant change in the program's history. She said it expanded a program that previously was limited by income thresholds and other factors.

"So the ability to cover all adults, regardless of whether they're caring for a child in their home, or regardless of whether they're pregnant, is just incredibly important in ensuring the health of everybody in the country," she said.

Since Medicaid was expanded in Nevada, Solomon said, the state's uninsured rate for adults dropped by 4 percent.

The report is online at cbpp.org.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV