Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Analyses from the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities predict 191,664 South Carolinians would gain health coverage if the state expands Medicaid.

According to the CBPP, Medicaid expansion narrows racial disparities in health coverage and access to care, and it improves coverage and health for parents and children. It would also put the state in a better position to respond to the current coronavirus pandemic, the analyses said.

States that have expanded Medicaid have seen increases in access to care that have led to better health outcomes, such as improvements in self-reported health, decreases in the share of low-income adults screening positive for depression, and notably, fewer premature deaths.  Many people who could gain coverage through expansion are at elevated risk from the virus, according to CBPP.

Reports show hundreds of South Carolinians have died from preventable diseases due to lack of coverage over the years.  The CBPP pegged the number at 788.