Study claims Ohio economy would do better without Medicaid expansion

A study issued by a right-of-center think tank makes a case for Ohio opting out of the Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act and instead encouraging poor residents to purchase subsidized insurance through the state's insurance exchange.

The report, issued by the National Center for Policy Analysis, concluded that Ohio's economy would benefit from such an approach, since providers would get higher payments from the commercial insurers competing in the exchange, rather than from Medicaid, according to theToledo Blade.

"In Ohio, and this is true in all states, the average physician's fee is one half under Medicaid than what private insurance would pay for the same care," Devon Herrick, the study's co-author, told the Blade.

According to the study, Ohio would see a net economic gain of $4.4 billion over the next decade if it opted out of Medicaid expansion. That compares to the estimated net gain of $1.4 billion if the state expanded Medicaid, according to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, a non-partisan organization, the Blade reported.

However, Health Policy Institute President Amy McGee told the Blade that those residents earning below 100 percent of the federal poverty level not currently covered by Medicaid would have no access to subsidies in order to purchase insurance.

Ohio is among the states that have yet to decide whether to expand Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Cqre Act. It has the support of Gov. John Kasich, but the Legislature has yet to pass an expansion bill.

To learn more:
- read the Toledo Blade article
- here's the NCPA report

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