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Friday, June 14, 2013

New State-led Analyses Confirm that Medicaid Expansion Yields Financial Benefits for States

Dee Mahan

We’ve said it over and over—expanding Medicaid is not just a good deal for people who gain health insurance coverage, but it’s a good deal financially for states.  And now a new report by the Urban Institute, “Medicaid Expansion Under the ACA: How States Analyze the Fiscal and Economic Trade-Offs,”  reaches that same conclusion. The study (issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) takes an in-depth look at economic analyses of Medicaid expansion in ten very different states: Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Every comprehensive economic analysis of the Medicaid expansion found that taking up the expansion would be to the state’s fiscal advantage.

All of the analyses were conducted by state-level experts who have an in-depth knowledge of the states’ health care programs and economies—a level of knowledge that outside groups cannot fully replicate. 

So it’s not just policy analysts or Washington think-tanks claiming that Medicaid expansion is a good deal.  When the states themselves conduct unbiased, rigorous analyses of the costs and benefits of expanding Medicaid, their own findings confirm that Medicaid expansion yields measurable economic benefits. That’s true for states in different regions of the country, with different demographics, and with very different economies.

If your state is not committed to expanding Medicaid, encourage them to conduct the kind of detailed economic analyses outlined in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s report.  When states do all the math, we’re pretty positive that—with Medicaid expansion—they’ll come out ahead.