The Kaiser Family Foundation has a new study reporting on the impact of Medicaid expansion on states’ health care budgets and enrollment levels.
You remember Medicaid expansion, right? It’s the part of the Affordable Care Act intended to provide health care coverage for lower income citizens who make too much money to qualify under existing Medicaid rules, but not enough to afford even subsidized health insurance premiums. As a part of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision finding the Affordable Care Act constitutional, the court found individual states should have the right to opt out of the Medicaid expansion program.
Since the Medicaid expansion was 95% subsidized by the Federal government, and those folks were going to need health care anyway, it would be damnfoolishness or the most cynical political pandering for a state to opt out.
So, of course, Captain Zero did just that.
Alaska rejected Medicaid expansion, so there’s some 40,000 Alaskans who don’t have health coverage. Those folks still get sick, of course, and when they can’t pay the costs get passed along to those health care consumers who can afford to pay. Including the State of Alaska. By rejecting the federally-subsidized expansion, the State increased its own costs, as well as yours and mine.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has assessed the impact of the decision of Captain Zero and his fellow Republican zealots.
One finding by Kaiser is that while there is higher enrollment in health care, and greater total health care spending by participating states, the amount the states spend themselves is actually lower.
So what Captain Zero has done for us is get health insurance for fewer folks, at considerably greater expense to the State of Alaska. All to make some kind of crassly cynical, utterly unprincipled political statement. And let’s not forget the Captain is costing the State more money at a time of acute fiscal crisis.
Bah. How can a thinking citizen even consider for a moment voting for this political hack?