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New Research Finds Medicaid Expansion States Have Reduced Hospital Capacity

Naples, FL — New research from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) reveals startling trends in hospital capacity: States have seen further reduced hospital capacity from the financial and volume strains put upon them by Medicaid expansion.

While hospitals have faced space shortages across the country, Medicaid expansion has exacerbated the problem, leaving states unable to meet the demand for care. As individuals in expansion states are forced off of private insurance and onto Medicaid, more hospitals are faced with greater numbers of patients at lower reimbursement rates. As a result, the number of hospital beds per capita has declined by more than six percent since 2013 in states that expanded ObamaCare.

The paper shows that, while expansion states have seen a reduction in hospital capacity, non-expansion states have actually increased bed capacity. In fact, by 2017, non-expansion states had 510 more hospital beds per million residents than expansion states.

Medicaid expansion is also impacting overall facility capacity. According to the new research, hospitals in Medicaid expansion states were nearly twice as likely to report increases in ER visits as hospitals in non-expansion states.

“Now more than ever, we need to be sure every person in need of a hospital bed can get the care and attention they need. The reality is that hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid were struggling with capacity and finances before the COVID-19 outbreak, but are now unprepared for a public health crisis,” said Jonathan Ingram, vice president of policy and research at FGA and co-author of the report. “ObamaCare expansion states are placing capacity burdens on their hospitals by expanding Medicaid to able-bodied adults.”

Read the full report here.


The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and work reform. To learn more, visit

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