Medicaid Expansion brings economic benefits

In my recent blog posts I’ve focused my comments on the moral and social issues related to health care policy. But there is also an important economic element that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Providing healthcare to the less fortunate is an issue that requires serious contemplation. It is noble to desire improvement and action on providing healthcare to the underprivileged. What is often overlooked, is the financial capability of each state to provide that assistance.

I applaud the many who show compassion and advocate for the uninsured citizens of our country. My intention is to arm the individuals who are serious about solving our state’s health care dilemma with basic facts on the financial issues specifically related to Medicaid expansion. Here are only a few of those to consider.

–    With or without the expansion, it is projected that Utah will spend $343 million beyond our annual budget for Medicaid.

–    With expansion, Utah’s annual increase in expenditure will be $364 million.

–    This will only be an increase of 8.5% of what the state is already spending.

–    If our legislature were to vote in favor of Medicaid expansion, the federal government will pay 100% of that cost for the first three years, and thereafter the federal share will never drop below 90%.

The financial implications of expanding Medicaid are minimal compared to the increase in insured Utahns and even the creation of jobs that will likely come with expansion. Expansion will provide healthcare for 145,000 individuals currently uninsured. Bearing in mind the assistance from the federal government, certainly an 8.5% increase of the state’s annual cost for Medicaid is a worthy sacrifice.

I understand that other political issues dominate our national dialogue and deserve our attention. Just last week President Obama’s State of the Union address focused on our economy and the government’s ability to create jobs. Expanding Medicaid will help with that, too. According to the Center for American progress, it is projected that strategic healthcare reform will create between 250,000 and 400,000 jobs a year nationwide.

Next week I will outline some of the specific economic implications of healthcare expansion in Utah and the opportunity the state will have to create thousands of new jobs.

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2 thoughts on “Medicaid Expansion brings economic benefits”

  1. It was recently discovered my medical records were destroyed. My State Representative who offered to assist me to receive therapy for a dissocitive disorder, similar to PTSD. During the process it was discovered the health dept. was responsiable for not providing me with adaquate care. Instead of doing what was necessary my records were removed from the health dept, I’m on SSI. This was done to prevent a lawsuit. The lack of care caused a cyst to become first stage cancer. The cancer was removed but my health will never be the same.
    This is the basic problem our state has: The poor and those on disabilities are freeloaders unworthy of medical care because we are in need and probably just lazy. IHC, the provider of my care after the health dept. would run tests but would never look at the problem. The second D&C was the end of my tolerance for incompetent care.

    Until hospitals are held to a higher standard, Medicaid coverage will just be more money for incompentency. This is probably why the state is refusing the expansion. I’m all for helping people get well but without proper regulation the people most at risk will just be used to make money for businesses like IHC while individuals suffer.

    I’m waiting to find out if they are going to refuse to assist the poor. If they do I intended to report my experience to IHC’s insurance provider. I will report the matter no matter what they choose to do about expansion because I know too many people being ruined financially. Hospital stays costing thousands and never being told what was wrong or how to prevent another hospitalization. We have too much corruption between business and government. The job of government is to protect citizens from this kind of abuse.
    When the hospital removed the cancer they gave me something just as deadly, a resistant strain of staff infection. When the medical institutions are the cause of illness we need to rethink our choices.
    I don’t know if this is helpful, I hope it gives others a clearer vision of the real problem we have in the state. From my experience the state doesn’t want the Federal Government to find out what a poor provider Utah is when it comes to hospitals. We have the University of Utah to provide care but that’s it.
    Thanks for the vent; hopefully this information will benefit your efforts to provide better health for all Utah citizens.

    I hope when everything hits the fan you will step in and demand the state regulate businesses so this never happens again. It’s time for a major change in Utah.

  2. It was recently discovered my medical records were destroyed. My State Representative who offered to assist me to receive therapy for a dissocitive disorder, similar to PTSD. During the process it was discovered the health dept. was responsiable for not providing me with adaquate care. Instead of doing what was necessary my records were removed from the health dept, I’m on SSI. This was done to prevent a lawsuit. The lack of care caused a cyst to become first stage cancer. The cancer was removed but my health will never be the same.
    This is the basic problem our state has: The poor and those on disabilities are freeloaders unworthy of medical care because we are in need and probably just lazy. IHC, the provider of my care after the health dept. would run tests but would never look at the problem. The second D&C was the end of my tolerance for incompetent care.

    Until hospitals are held to a higher standard, Medicaid coverage will just be more money for incompentency. This is probably why the state is refusing the expansion. I’m all for helping people get well but without proper regulation the people most at risk will just be used to make money for businesses like IHC while individuals suffer.

    I’m waiting to find out if they are going to refuse to assist the poor. If they do I intended to report my experience to IHC’s insurance provider. I will report the matter no matter what they choose to do about expansion because I know too many people being ruined financially. Hospital stays costing thousands and never being told what was wrong or how to prevent another hospitalization. We have too much corruption between business and government. The job of government is to protect citizens from this kind of abuse.
    When the hospital removed the cancer they gave me something just as deadly, a resistant strain of staff infection. When the medical institutions are the cause of illness we need to rethink our choices.
    I don’t know if this is helpful, I hope it gives others a clearer vision of the real problem we have in the state. From my experience the state doesn’t want the Federal Government to find out what a poor provider Utah is when it comes to hospitals. We have the University of Utah to provide care but that’s it.
    Thanks for the vent; hopefully this information will benefit your efforts to provide better health for all Utah citizens.

    I hope when everything hits the fan you will step in and demand the state regulate businesses so this never happens again. It’s time for a major change in Utah.

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