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Medicaid has record expansion during pandemic; roughly 80 million Americans now enrolled, feds

The totals show a quarter of the U.S. population getting coverage through the federal programs.

Updated: June 22, 2021 - 8:30am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Medicaid enrollment expanded by 13.9%, or by nearly 9.9 million Americans, during the pandemic, according to a new federal government report.  

The report released Monday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says the period of the increase was February 2020, the month before the public health emergency was declared, and January 2021. The agency also says a record 80 million-plus people in the U.S. now have health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, covering children whose parents earn too much for Medicaid but still cannot afford other coverage.

The totals show a quarter of the U.S. population getting coverage through the federal programs, according to The New York Times

The Affordable Care Act turned Medicaid from a targeted health-care program for such people as expectant mothers and those with disabilities into a broader program with largely free coverage to most people below a certain income threshold, the newspaper also reports. 

Twelve states, mostly in the South, have declined to expand Medicaid, in which states and the federal government share the cost, under the act, also known as ObamaCare.