Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ky. has 6 of top 10 counties for adults on Medicaid; Bell is 9th for children; Trump carried all in state with more than half of kids on it

Of the top 10 rural counties in the United States where adults are most dependent on Medicaid for their health care, Kentucky has six.

They are Wolfe, ranking first with 45 percent of its adults on Medicaid; Bell, with 44 percent; Breathitt and Owsley, 43 percent each; Lee, 42 percent; and Harlan, 40 percent.

The figures come from the Rural Health Policy Project of the Center for Children and Families in the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.

The project also identified the top 10 counties for children on Medicaid or the related Children's Health Insurance Program; Bell County ranked ninth, with 74 percent.

The Los Angeles Times overlaid the data with the presidential election results and "found that 617 of the 780 counties in rural areas or small towns where over half of the children were covered by Medicaid or CHIP voted for President Trump," the project reports. He carried all such counties in Kentucky.

The Times notes, "As a candidate, Trump said he wasn’t going to cut Medicaid but he has supported the Medicaid cuts approved by the House and pending in the Senate." Medicaid spending would increase with those bills, but its purchasing power would decline because new spending limits would not allow it to keep up with health-care inflation.

The Times has an interactive map with data for all 780 counties where most children are on Medicaid or CHIP. Here's a screenshot, showing Kentucky counties and using Bell as the example:
Counties in red were carried by Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton carried those in blue.
States in gray expanded Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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