New Jersey’s decision to expand Medicaid led to a sharp decline in the rate of uninsured women in the 18 to 44 age group between 2013 and 2017. The rate went down 8.1 percent between 2013 (19.7 percent) and 2017 (11.6 percent), according to a new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
That improvement had significant upsides, the report pointed out, not least in reducing rates of maternal death and infant mortality and improving the potential for optimal birth outcomes that can increase the promise of a healthy childhood. It found, in general, that states that expanded Medicaid saw a 50 percent greater reduction in infant mortality, compared to non-expansion states.
New Jersey has a long way to go in improving infant mortality rates. The state has the second largest disparity in the nation in black-white infant mortality rates, with the rate for black infants three times higher than for white infants, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.