Dec 17, 2019

Study: Medicaid expansion helps improve infant mortality rates

A newborn baby in the intensive care unit. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin\TASS via Getty Images

Medicaid expansion and other social services help improve infant mortality rates, according to a new report from the liberal Center for American Progress.

Why it matters: The U.S. is ranked 55th in the world on infant mortality — alongside Serbia.

Yes, but: Medicaid expansion is not a cure-all. For example, Washington, D.C., which implemented Medicaid expansion in 2014, saw more than double the overall national infant mortality rate.

Lawmakers in several states are undertaking new programs to help reduce infant mortality.

  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced in December the state will undergo a $22 million budget proposal to help new mothers by 2025.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed four bills this year aimed at helping the state's maternal and infant health.
  • A bipartisan bill in Congress would offer states an incentive to extend their Medicaid coverage to a full year after delivery.

The bottom line: "At this point, the data is really hard to argue with," Cristina Novoa, senior policy analyst for early childhood policy at the Center for American Progress, tells Axios.

Go deeper

Labor complications can double the cost of childbirth

Reproduced from Premier; Chart: Axios Visuals

Complications can nearly double the cost of delivering a baby, according an analysis from health care alliance company Premier.

Why it matters: More women are experiencing complications during labor — the rate rose by 36% from 2008 to 2018, per Premier.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020

With Kansas deal, Medicaid expansion marches on

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Kansas will likely become the 37th state — 38th if you count D.C. — to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Driving the news: The state's Democratic governor and Republican Senate leader announced a deal yesterday to expand the program, though it still needs to get through the state legislature.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020

State and local officials fight to keep Medicaid for inmates

Angola prison in Louisiana. Photo: Giles Clarke/Getty Images

Some local and state officials want Medicaid to start picking up the tab for inmates' health care, Stateline reports.

How it works: Medicaid beneficiaries lose their coverage while they're incarcerated — including pretrial detention for people who can't make bail — and county governments are generally responsible for providing their care.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020