We are paying for Medicaid expansion, regardless of what our “leaders” want. The only question is whether we get a benefit from it, or if it all goes to other states.
If Texas keeps refusing to enlarge Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the state will pass up a heap of money, a new study has found.
In 2022, the state would pass up federal money for Medicaid expansion equal to more than twice its haul that year in federal highway aid, according to researchers Sherry Glied and Stephanie Ma of New York University.
Texas would forfeit $9.6 billion of federal Medicaid matching funds in 2022. That’s one-fourth of what the federal government expects to spend on defense contracts in the state that year, the study said.
“No state that declines to expand the program is going to be fiscally better off because of it,” said Glied, a former Obama administration health planning official who is dean of NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Texas Republican leaders have resisted Medicaid expansion, saying federal rules are too rigid and state costs in future years would soar. GOP leaders predict that federal budget cuts and the Affordable Care Act’s rollout problems will force a rollback of the generous pledge of federal funding.
Last year, Texas took $17 billion in federal money for its $28 billion Medicaid program. It currently covers 3.6 million children, pregnant women, seniors and disabled Texans.
More than 1 million poor adults of working age would be added to the program by 2016 if Texas changed course and embraced expansion, according to the state Health and Human Services Commission.
You can see the study here. The usual suspect at the corporate-owned “think tank” TPPF make their usual blatherings about Medicaid being something they don’t like, but they never address two key facts. One is as noted above, that we’re paying for this one way or another, and it’s up to us whether we reap any benefit from it or if we just give it away to New York and California and so on. Two, we’re still paying for the health care of these folks one way or another, too. We pay for it in local taxes when they visit the ER for things that could have been treated more easily and efficiently if they could have done a routine doctor’s visit, and we pay for it in lost productivity and economic potential, especially for the children. Not that the sociopaths at the TPPF care, of course. But we are paying for it. We’re wasting a ton of money doing it the way we are now. We do it differently and get a huge benefit for not much more, and possibly even save a few bucks if we really do it right. Not as long as people listen to the TPPF, though.