Thursday, October 30, 2014

Updated Medicaid Expansion Map


This map shows which states have taken up the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) opportunity to expand each state's Medicaid program to citizens earning 101-135% of the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL).  The majority of states and DC are now participating with the Federal government picking up the entire tab for the expansion for the first year or so.  Then the states will after a few years have to pay for 10% of the expansion and the Federal government will continue to pay 90% of the tab.

Several key points:

  • If you are like me and live in a state whose governor and legislature has chosen not to expand Medicaid insurance, then you and your fellow citizens are paying taxes into the Federal government to support the expansion, but your state is not getting any of the direct benefits.
  • By some estimates 8 million uninsured Americans were eligible for their states' Medicaid programs but were unaware or at least not enrolled.  The media attention and efforts to sign people up for insurance, however, may be providing the indirect benefit of getting more people to sign up for Medicaid who are eligible.
  • The ACA was designed for all the states to expand Medicaid to the poorest uninsured.  People earning <101% of the FPL were already eligible for Medicaid.  Those earning >135% up to 400% of the FPL get a subsidy to help them pay for private insurance purchased through the health insurance exchanges.  Everyone must by law have insurance.  So in states that did not expand Medicaid, these poorest of the uninsured must by law purchase insurance but do not get Medicaid ...and they get no subsidy.  They are trapped in the "Medicaid donut hole" as some are calling it.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014




This series of maps shows the classification of the state's 159 counties along a continuum from urban to rural.  This classification was developed by the US Department of Agriculture (by a fellow named Beale originally) and now is standardized by the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  It is based on urban population and commuting patterns for a county's workforce.  Thus, a rural county where a large percentage of the workforce commutes to a metro area would be classified as more urban than if its workers didn't access a more urban area regularly.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


This map is a little rough.  I need to clean up some of the borders.  Here though is a map showing the Peach State's MSAs.  A Metropolitan Statistical Area is defined by urban population and workforce commuting.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Georgia's AHECs


Most?  all?  states have AHECs (Area Health Education Centers).  This map shows Georgia's counties, health districts, and AHECs on one easy map.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Georgia on My Mind


This next series of maps I'm starting to post today are ones I've made to help myself and colleagues who work in public health in Georgia.  This one shows Georgia's 159 counties.  Georgia has a boatload of counties; the second most of any state after Texas.  (Kentucky ranks 3rd by the way in the number of counties.)  Each county in Georgia has a health department which in turn is also part of 18 multi-county health districts.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014



The Equality State of Wyoming, the first state to allow women to legally vote, on Friday became the 32nd state to legalize civil marriage for same sex couples.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Empty Homes in America's Cities

This map shows the percentages of vacant housing units in the 363 metros in the Lower 48 states.  It appears to highlight vacation homes.  Popular beach destinations such as Fort Myers (FL), Naples (FL), Panama Beach (FL), and Wilmington (NC) all show 25-50% of their housing units as vacation.  In one oceanside metro (Ocean City, NJ), 58% of housing units were recorded as vacant in April 2010.