Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Non-Expanding States Will Lose $423.6 Billion In Medicaid Funding

  A public service announcement from the  Daily Kos Staff

The 24 states that have refused to expand Medicaid are losing out on some $423.6 billion between now and 2022, according to a new study [pdf] from the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Using that data, Jonathon Cohn created an interactive map (click here to see the map actually interacting) to show how much each denying state was missing out on.

Over the next ten years Florida will lose $66.1 billion. Texas, $65.6 billion. North Carolina, $39.6 billion. Even states with small populations, like Idaho ($3.3 billion) and Wyoming ($1.4 billion) are foregoing huge amounts of funding relative to state budgets. Most of the states argue that the eventual costs of expansion will be far too high, so they are being fiscally prudent in rejecting it. This study puts that argument to rest. Here's an example from Cohn.

The Urban Institute researchers have made projections for just how much money each state is implicitly giving up by refusing to expand Medicaid. Georgia is a good example. According to the Urban report, Georgia would have to spend an additional $2.5 billion over the course of a decade in order to finance its share of the Medicaid expansion. But the state is giving up more than ten times that—$33.5 billion—in federal funds.

There's plenty else the states are missing out on, besides having a potentially healthier population. In 2015 alone, these 24 states could create 172,400 jobs and their hospitals would receive $168 billion in new reimbursements. The economic shot in the arm from Medicaid expansion could do wonders for some of these struggling states. But it's far more important to most of these Republican legislatures and governors to fight Obama.