Hospitals make the economic case for Medicaid expansion

In advocating for the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the Alabama Hospital Association is making the same economic case as acute care lobbies in other states.

A new report released by the Alabama Hospital Association claims expanding Medicaid would create 30,700 new jobs over the next half-dozen years, including 11,290 in the healthcare sector. That's based on a scenario where Medicaid enrollment in Alabama is moderate.

"The [new] jobs represent the intermediate take up and would create earnings of $1.3 billion a year on average and contribute an average of $2.1 billion each year to the state's Gross Domestic Product," said Alabama Hospital Association President Michael J. Horsley.

The association projects anywhere from 234,000 to nearly 500,000 Alabamians would sign up for coverage if the state expands Medicaid, the Birmingham Business Journal reported.

The Arkansas Hospital Association issued a report earlier this year arguing Medicaid expansion would create more than 10,000 jobs by the end of the decade. Arkansas is one of the few southern states that has decided to pursue Medicaid expansion. The Kansas Hospital Association released a report that Medicaid expansion would create 4,000 new jobs by the end of the decade, but state lawmakers have yet to pursue Medicaid expansion, FierceHealthFinance previously reported.

And the Missouri Hospital Association made a similar economic argument last year, nothing its membership would lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year because of lost DSH payments and no additional Medicaid revenue to make up that loss. Missouri lawmakers are not moving forward with Medicaid expansion at this time.

To learn more:
- read the Alabama Hospital Association report (.pdf)
- here's the Birmingham Business Journal article

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