Medicaid Expansion

More jobs. More money. And a huge boost to the state economy.

A new study in Colorado found those to be a few of the key benefits of Medicaid expansion in that state. From Colorado Public Radio:

The report found that Colorado added more than 30,000 jobs and raised annual household earnings by $643. And the increased economic activity due to Medicaid added $3.8 billion to Colorado’s economy.

“The influx of dollars from the Medicaid expansion, it does get redistributed in communities.  It initially goes into the healthcare system, but then is really injected into the economy,” said the foundation’s Alexis Weightman.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Study leaders reasoned that spending led to higher employment levels and higher incomes, leading to greater spending at restaurants and on consumer goods.

Further, the study projected Colorado would add 43,018 jobs and economic activity would jump by $8.5 billion by the fiscal year ending June 30, 2035, and that average household incomes would rise $1,033 by that year because of Medicaid’s expansion.

The Denver Post spoke to one lawmaker who “laughed at the notion that Medicaid expansion is not costing the state anything.”

Kevin Lundberg, the Republican who chairs the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said, “What we’ve been doing is pulling down federal debt dollars” to bring more money into the state. But, he said, the $9.9 billion being spent on Medicaid “has an immediate, direct impact on the state budget as well.”

However, the study’s authors believe that, overall, Medicaid expansion is benefitting Colorado and the people who live there.

“The impact of Medicaid expansion in the state is broad-reaching and demonstrates how health is more than just what happens at the doctor’s office,” she said. “In addition to providing health insurance to nearly 400,000 Coloradans, expanding Medicaid has proven to be a fiscally sound decision.”
                                                         
                                                          Karen McNeil-Miller, Colorado Health Foundation President

We found this Colorado Medicaid expansion story to be particularly interesting since the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association believes Medicaid expansion will benefit our state as well. In fact, we have made it one of our key priorities for 2016.

Now it’s your turn. Whether you agree or disagree – we want to hear from you. Stimulating important conversations around the health issues important to the people of our state will help us take another step on the road to one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

 

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