Friday, July 13, 2012

Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | Scare Talk on Medicaid Costs Doesn’t Square with Reality

 "Texas Governor Rick Perry says that the health reform law’s Medicaid expansion would “threaten even Texas with financial ruin.”  Florida Governor Rick Scott calls the provision a “massive entitlement expansion” and claimed it will cost Florida $1.9 billion a year (his staff has since admitted the figure was overstated).

Our revised report provides a reality check for such scare talk, explaining that the Medicaid expansion will cover 17 million low-income people at a very modest cost to states — and that savings in state-funded services for the uninsured will offset part (and possibly all) of that cost."

We know this is the season of silliness when it comes to politics, but "financial ruin" is a pretty dramatic and erroneous way to categorize the Medicaid expansion component of the Affordable Care Act. This is a good response to the wilder claims coming from a few our of Governors, who I think are mostly posturing until after the election. Unless there is a clean sweep of Congress and the White House, the ACA is probably here to stay. However, it doesn't make sense to soften a political position for Gov's. Perry or Scott when its possible Mitt Romney could win the election and the GOP muster enough votes to start dismantling the ACA.

Like the original Medicaid program back in 1965, there will be stragglers who are slow to come on board. However as the private health care industry supports this expansion, it will be very difficult for these Governors to explain why they'll not accept essentially free money for a few years and then upwards of .90 on the dollar going forward. They can try, I just think its a losing hand...

Read the rest of the CBPP article here:


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