November 11, 2013 12:52 pm -

The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid coverage to veterans below 133% of the federal the poverty line, meaning half of all uninsured veterans would be eligible. Many of the states that refused to expand Medicaid are red states with Republican governors and/or legislatures that have done everything they could to thwart implementation of Obamacare.

Unfortunately, the states that have failed to grow Medicaid are home to higher rates of uninsured veterans than the states that expanded their programs. A ThinkProgress analysis of Urban Institute data found that the average rate of uninsurance among veterans in the 24 states that have not expanded Medicaid is 12 percent, while states that did expand Medicaid have an average veteran uninsurance rate of 9 percent.

The gap is the result of a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that upheld the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate, but permitted states to refuse to expand Medicaid. Many of the states that turned down the program — Texas, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia — already suffer from the highest uninsured states in America and are less likely to provide government assistance in obtaining insurance than states that have agreed to increase Medicaid eligibility.