Medicaid Nation

Staff Writer | The Economist | August 30, 2012

Where in America do the fewest people have health insurance?

THE Supreme Court upheld much of Barack Obama’s health reform in June, but struck down an important part. Mr Obama wanted to expand Medicaid, the state-federal programme for the poor, to a broader swathe of Americans. Under current law, state Medicaid programmes only have to cover specific subsets, such as pregnant women. Mr Obama wanted states to have to cover everyone who is poor, defined as all those with incomes of up to 138% of the poverty level. But the Supreme Court made this expansion optional, so Mr Obama’s grand stride towards universal coverage is now a baby step. New numbers from America’s Census Bureau illustrate just how varied health coverage continues to be. At just 5.2%, Massachusetts has the country's lowest rate of uninsured...