20 Jan Medicaid Expansion Linked To Decreased Infant Mortality, Especially Among African Americans
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Chintan Bhatt MBBS, MPH (HE/HIM/HIS)
Department of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention,
Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work,
Florida International University
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Women and children are disproportionately affected by the uncertainty around medical health insurance rising in the United States. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was implemented on Jan 1st, 2014, since then the uninsured rate decreased considerably, especially in women aged 18 to 64 years. ACA revised and expanded Medicaid eligibility. Under the law, all U.S. citizens and legal residents with income up to 133% of the poverty line, including adults without dependent children, would qualify for coverage in any state that participated in the Medicaid program. Because of the large proportion of maternal, infant, and child health care and preventive services funded by Medicaid. The purpose of our study was to examine the potential effect of Medicaid expansion on infant mortality rates by comparing infant mortality rate trends in states and Washington D.C. by Medicaid expansion acceptance or decline.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Our study findings suggest that Medicaid expansion by 31 states and Washington, DC, was associated with a greater decline in infant mortality rate, particularly in African American infants, than was seen in non–Medicaid expansion states.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Infant Mortality decline was greater in states with Medicaid Expansion than in those without, driven by greater declines in African-Americans. Medicaid expansion can be one of the ways to bridge the gap between the racial disparities in infant mortality.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future directions in research should explore what aspects of Medicaid expansion may have improved infant survival, such as prenatal care use, maternal mental health care, and the role of home visiting, expanded contraception use, and other services in infant mortality rate reduction.
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Citation: Chintan B. Bhatt, Consuelo M. Beck-Sagué, “Medicaid Expansion and Infant Mortality in the United States”, American Journal of Public Health: published online before print January 18, 2018
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