For Adelina of Sunland Park, New Mexico, living in one state over another made all the difference in getting health care. Because she lives in New Mexico, rather than nearby Texas, she was able to access health care. The real difference of a state’s decision making is demonstrated in both Adelina’s story and a new report released yesterday by the Council of Economic Advisers entitled Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid . Finding herself needing to care for her sick mother, Adelina was unemployed and without insurance for over six months. But after keeping up with the news, she found that because New Mexico had expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, she had access to the affordable health insurance coverage she needed. She recently wrote to President Obama to share her experience, explaining, “I write because I feel it is important to let our leaders know how their policies impact their constituencies.” She went on to say her coverage “has not only saved me thousands of dollars, but in some ways has kept me from further stress complications as anyone that is out of work knows how stressful that is.” Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, 5.2 million additional Americans have coverage from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the 26 states and the District of Columbia that expanded Medicaid eligibility to all non-elderly individuals in families with incomes below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Adelina, who recently obtained health insurance under the New Mexico Medicaid Centennial Care system, was one of the Americans who received coverage following state decisions to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. read more

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A Few Miles Can Make the Difference Between Getting Health Care or Being Uninsured