It was a move some people believed would help more Americans receive medical treatment but a new paper finds Medicaid expansion amounts to bad medicine.
The research from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) finds more than 650,000 people are languishing on Medicaid waiting lists nationwide.
"In states that have expanded Medicaid, at least 21,904 of these individuals have died on these waiting lists before ever getting the care that they needed," says Nic Horton, FGA research director and author of the report.
"This study has gotten a lot of attention, and I've been very encouraged by that," he continues, "because I think what it shows is there is lack of prioritization. And we make the case in the study that within the Medicaid program, Medicaid has really lost its focus."
Today there are more than 28 million able-bodied adults enrolled Medicaid, a number that is nearly twice as high as it was before the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare began.
The ACA called on states to expand Medicaid, although it was later deemed voluntary in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the ACA.
"You've got these individuals with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, frail, elderly seniors in some cases, who are on these waiting lists," reports Horton. "And they need services. They need in-home care. They need therapy. They need these home and community-based services."
But those same people, he says, are literally dying before they get the medical care they need.
Asked if the problem is lack of funding, the researcher tells OneNewsNow the problem is how the funds are being spent.
"It's being spent on the wrong people," he warns. "It's being targeted to people who don't have disabilities, who are working age, who need to be working and contributing."