For years, hospital lobbyists have promised that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion would kick start states’ economies and produce thousands of new jobs. (Expanding welfare always stimulates the economy, right?)
This piece of their Obamacare sales pitch is critical because, according to their calculations, these new jobs will generate the necessary revenue to pay for states’ share of the Obamacare expansion costs. The Arkansas Hospital Association, for example, made a similar guarantee, promising that most of the state’s share would be covered by new tax revenue generated by new jobs.
But now that expansion has been up-and-running for more than two years, the data is starting to paint a clearer picture of the real economic impact. And, believe it or not, Obamacare expansion isn’t living up to the hype. Continue reading
Co-authored by Nic Horton, Jonathan Ingram, and Josh Archambault
Nebraska legislators are currently considering another plan to bring Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion to the Cornhusker state. The proposal would create a new welfare program, dubbed the “Transitional Health Insurance Program,” for more than 130,000 able-bodied adults, costing taxpayers nearly $15 billion over the next ten years.
Nebraska policymakers have rejected all previous attempts to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. With expansion costs exploding in other states and federal funding now on the chopping block, it’s clear that their decision was the right one. And nothing in this new proposal should give them reason to reconsider. In fact, the latest plan, modeled after Arkansas’ “Private Option,” is Nebraska’s worst expansion proposal yet.
This model has failed to deliver on its promises everywhere it has been tried and would cost taxpayers billions of dollars more than a traditional expansion. In fact, Iowa has already scrapped its own version of this model and Arkansas’ expansion is scheduled by law to terminate later this year. Worse yet, the plan would also prioritize welfare for this new class of able-bodied adults over services for the truly needy. Continue reading
A new paper by Jonathan Ingram and Nic Horton examine the impact an Arkansas-style Medicaid expansion would have on Nebraska:
Nebraska legislators have taken a thoughtful approach to the Affordable Care Act, carefully reviewing the evidence and ultimately declining to expand Medicaid to a new class of able-bodied adults under the law. Nevertheless, a small group of legislators lobby their colleagues each year to expand the program. The latest proposal, offered by Senator John McCollister, would copy the expansion models used by Arkansas and Iowa, homes of the highest profile “alternative” expansion models.
Under this approach, able-bodied adults receive regular Medicaid benefits through private health insurance plans sold on the Exchange, rather than through traditional Medicaid managed care. But these expansions have been unmitigated disasters and replicating the results in Nebraska would move the state backwards.
This new approach to Medicaid expansion is unaffordable and unpredictable, pushes adults out of private insurance and into taxpayer-funded welfare, puts the truly needy on the chopping block, discourages work, and shrinks the economy. So it should be no surprise that, last year, Iowa policymakers scrapped the model entirely and Arkansas enacted legislation to repeal the expansion altogether at the end of 2016. Nebraska policymakers should learn from these mistakes, not repeat them.
Read the full paper here.