In 2016, 5.7 million people could be deprived of health insurance coverage if the states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid continue to refuse, according to a White House statement. This statistic comes from researchers at the Urban Institute and is cited in a new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers titled Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid.

The report cites research from economics and health policy experts to make its case. According to the statement, the consequences for states not expanding Medicaid “are far‐reaching, with implications for the health and well‐being of their citizens, their economies and the economy of the nation as a whole.” Expansion of Medicaid is provided for under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. the health care reform law, or ACA).

Currently, 26 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid under the ACA and 24 states have not. The report argues that the billions of dollars those states are refusing could benefit their economies. Under the ACA, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs of Medicaid expansion through 2016. The federal match reduces gradually to 90 percent in 2020, but will remain at that level.

To read the statement, click here.

To read the report, click here.