SSN Commentary

When Parents Get Medicaid, It Can Benefit the Health of Their Kids Too

Policy field

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Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Low-income parents who live in states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act are 4.7% more likely to say they are in good health than their peers in states that have declined to take this step, according to new research I co-authored.

In addition, children of low-income parents living in states that have expanded their Medicaid programs have a 2% lower growth in body mass index, suggesting improvement in their health as well. Preventing excessive weight gain for school-aged children is a priority due to linkages with adult obesity and other health concerns.