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Texarkana and the Affordable Care Act

When the Obama administration set out to provide health insurance for millions of uninsured, impoverished Americans, it was under the assumption that all states would expand Medicaid to cover more low-income residents. However, when the Supreme Court ruled that states could not be coerced into expanding Medicaid, 20 states declined to do so, leaving millions of Americans still without health insurance.

This particularly affects citizens of towns that border state lines, such as the Texarkana metropolitan community. In the Arkansas side of Texarkana, homeless shelters are about $6 a night, and on the Texas side they are generally free. When the Affordable Care Act was set into motion, many citizens were dangerously uninformed about its implications, which ultimately meant that those who slept on the Arkansas side of Texarkana were eligible for Medicaid, and those who slept on the Texas side of Texarkana were not.



This brings up the question: will American citizens in border towns begin moving to acquire such health benefits? It seems that the answer is “no.” As of now, about half of surveyed Americans admit that they don’t understand how the ACA will affect their own families (Kaiser, 2013). It seems as though the public has had a long-standing tradition of not understanding – and, ultimately, not trusting – government aid. When the ACA was introduced, it promised millions of Americans health coverage, but the decisions of many states against the ACA have broken such promises and left many citizens confused and uninsured. Only time will tell how the Obama administration plans to care for such citizens and to eliminate the ridiculousness of such border constraints; hopefully, such a plan will boost their confidence in a government that has accepted their underprivileged, uninsured status quo for so many years.

Lindsey Rogers, Summer Research Intern


Kaiser, H. J. (2013). Kaiser health tracking poll: August 2013. Kaiser Health Tracing Poll, Retrieved from http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-august-2013/

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