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Health Policy Choices at the State Level Have Huge Impact on Resident Access to Care

While coverage and access to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual marketplaces are rooted in federal law, both programs are also shaped by policy choices at the state level. These decisions can be influenced by state demographics, budgets, and ideologies or politics. The resulting laws and guidance can greatly affect whether older adults or people with disabilities have access to the care they need to live healthy, independent lives.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a national nonprofit that analyzes health policy, put together three valuable resources that lay out some of the decisions states have made regarding Medicaid and the ACA, and what effect some of those decisions have had on care.

Each of these resources is exceptionally valuable as we move closer to the 2020 election and candidates establish health care positions. The choices states make are vitally important to how their residents access care, even when the program they are administering is a federal-state partnership, like Medicaid. By comparing state choices and the resulting impacts, we can better determine which policy options are truly beneficial to the people who rely on the health care and coverage these programs provide.

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