Medicaid Expansion Fails Poor, Taxpayers

Member Group : Commonwealth Foundation

As the Pennsylvania Senate considers expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act with opt-out conditions, Commonwealth Foundation cautions lawmakers to consider the full impact of expanding a broken health care program.

"The only adequate condition for accepting Medicaid expansion is full state flexibility to reform the Medicaid program. Lawmakers should reject anything less," said Matt Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation. "We know by experience that Washington’s one-size-fits-all version of Medicaid doesn’t best serve the poor or taxpayers."

The promise of free federal money should also raise alarms. "With $17 trillion in debt and a history of underfunding state commitments, it is unlikely the federal government will be able to make good on its funding promises," said Brouillette.

Yesterday, the state House held a hearing to highlight the dangers of Medicaid expansion. Among the facts members heard:

1. The federal government has reneged on funding promises to states in the past. In fact, President Obama has already twice proposed reducing the reimbursement rate to states for Medicaid expansion costs.

2. The federal funds come from taxes that will be imposed on Pennsylvania families and job creators.

3. Medicaid expansion will crowd out private insurance coverage. More than half of all newly eligible recipients currently have private insurance.
4. Medicaid provides poor quality care to beneficiaries.

5. While there is dispute over short term savings to the state budget, in the long run, expansion will assuredly cost the state.

6. Medicaid is already imposing a strain on state and federal finances, but other states have adopted reforms to save costs and improve the quality of care.

"Medicaid is a broken system, already taking nearly one-third of the entire state budget," added Brouillette. "Despite this cost, recipients have trouble seeing a doctor and in some cases receive worse health care than the uninsured. Medicaid patients and taxpayers deserve better."

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For more information, please contact John Bouder, Communications Officer at 717-671-1901 or [email protected].
The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.

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