(Washington D.C., Wednesday, June 7, 2017) â€“ Adults and children living in rural areas and small towns rely more on Medicaid than those in metropolitan areas, a trend that is particularly striking among children, according to a new report by Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program of the University of North Carolina.
About 45 percent of children in small towns and rural areas rely on Medicaid for their health care coverage, compared to 38 percent in metro areas, according to the report â€śMedicaid in Small Town America: A Lifeline to Children, Families and Communities.â€ť The report also found that the Affordable Care Actâ€™s Medicaid expansion is having a disproportionately positive impact on small towns and rural areas.
Joan Alker, Executive Director of the Center for Children and Families (CCF) and research professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy, explains more.
OUR RESEARCH FOUND A CLEAR LINK BETWEEN THE INCREASES IN MEDICAID COVERAGE AND DECREASES IN THE RATE OF UNINSURED KIDS IN SMALL TOWNS AND RURAL AREAS. MEDICAID MAKES IT EASIER FOR FAMILIES TO AFFORD HEALTH CARE FOR THEIR KIDS, THAT CAN MEAN FEWER E-R VISITS AND MORE KIDS SHOWING UP AT SCHOOL READY TO LEARN. CONGRESS IS CONSIDERING CUTTING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM MEDICAID AND THAT WOULD THREATEN THE PROGRESS THE COUNTRY HAS MADE IN RURAL AREAS. STATES REALLY WONâ€™T BE ABLE TO AFFORD THESE CUTS TO MEDICAID FUNDING WITHOUT FAMILIES LOSING THEIR COVERAGE.
SO WE FOUND THAT MEDICAID PROVIDES AN IMPORTANT LIFELINE TO CHILDREN, SENIORS, PARENTS, AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN SMALL TOWNS AND RURAL COMMUNITIES. IN FACT, FORTY-FIVE PERCENT OF CHILDREN IN RURAL AREAS GET THEIR HEALTH COVERAGE THROUGH MEDICAID. BUT NOW OUR NATIONâ€™S LEADERS ARE PROPOSING TO CUT BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM MEDICAID THREATING THE PROGRESS WEâ€™VE MADE AS A COUNTRY. AS A RESULT, MANY CHILDREN AND FAMILIES LIVING IN RURAL AREAS RISK LOSING ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE AND THE PROTECTION THEY NEED FROM RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS.
For more information, visit ccf.georgetown.edu.