Medicaid expansion ‘a fiscal win for states’

A calculator up close

If the 19 remaining states would pass Medicaid expansion at a cost of $56 billion, they would receive $462 billion in reimbursements from the federal government, according to an analysis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In in every expansion state analyzed, broadening Medicaid eligibility strengthened their budgets, as governments get a guaranteed seven or eight dollars back per extra dollar dedicated to Medicaid. The same would hold true for the states yet to expand Medicaid eligibility. 

Medicaid expansion would likely have an economic impact on the remaining holdout states by creating jobs, keeping the workforce healthier and improving state budgets, the report notes. Full adoption of Medicaid expansion also would result in up to 5 million fewer uninsured people.

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The choice to expand Medicaid also reduced healthcare spending in every state to implement it, primarily due to lower expenses for uncompensated care. The RWJF’s analysis points out that states would experience a combined $27 billion reduction in uncompensated care spending--not to mention $43 billion in savings for the feds--under a full expansion.

“It appears that Medicaid expansion is a fiscal win for states,” the RWJF's Kathy Hempstead says in the report.

- read the foundation's report

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