The rejection of Medicaid expansion by more than half of the states will disproportionately affect rural residents.
That's according to Tim McBride, a health economist with the Rural Policy Research Institute who spoke Tuesday to hospital administrators and others at a conference on rural health care in Milwaukee.
Twenty-one states, including Wisconsin, have opted not to expand Medicaid eligibility. McBride says about a half-dozen others are still debating the issue.
McBride says that when researchers look at rural residents who could be covered by the Medicaid expansion, more than half live in states that opted not to expand coverage. He says when researchers look at urban residents eligible for expansion, more than half life in states that are expanding coverage.
McBride says that makes Medicaid expansion a rural issue.