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The Obama administration is not giving up on its goal to expand Medicaid services in all 50 states. Its latest ploy: Convince the mostly Republican governors of those states that expansion will save billions in downstream treatment for substance abusers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services unveiled a report Monday stating that nearly 2 million uninsured people in the 20 non-expansion states suffer from mental illness or substance abuse. That’s nearly a third of the uninsured low-income residents of those states. And these states’ refusal to expand Medicaid as permitted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will leave 4 million people uninsured this year.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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