Pennsylvania Economy League cites benefits of expanding Medicaid
Expanding the state's Medicaid program, as called for by the federal health care reform law, would produce $4.4 billion in savings over 10 years for the state, according to an economic analysis released Friday by the Pennsylvania Economy League.
The savings would be achieved by shifting people receiving state-funded health coverage onto the federal insurance program for the poor, and by providing coverage to uninsured people who rack up medical bills that the state ends up covering, said the league, a statewide public policy research organization with offices in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
“This analysis is focused on the decision in front of the state government right now: whether to accept the Medicaid expansion and the substantial federal funding that comes with that decision, or not,” Steve Wray, managing director of league, said in a written statement. “Our analysis shows that the federal funding that accompanies expansion would support expanded employment, expanded economic activity, state program savings and expanded tax revenues for the commonwealth.”
Gov. Tom Corbett has rejected the federal government's offer of paying 100 percent of the bill to expand the program, which would provide coverage to an estimated half a million Pennsylvanians. The Republican governor, who opposed the health care reform law, said he could not risk adding new costs to state taxpayers.
A call to the governor's office Thursday was not immediately returned.
The expansion would inject $32 billion into the economy over 10 years, according to the league's analysis. But federal funds would be reduced over several years from 100 percent in 2014-2016 to 90 percent in 2020 and subsequent years.
Additional spending on medical care for previously uninsured people would lead to thousands of jobs over the next decade, the league said.
Critics have countered that Medicaid expansion would only benefit large hospitals and force an unfair burden onto taxpayers.
“The people economically benefitting are special interest groups, not individuals needing health coverage and working families that will have to foot the bill,” said Jennifer Stefano, spokeswoman in Philadelphia for Americans for Prosperity, a group that advocates for limited government.
Separately, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, a statewide coalition of groups that advocates for expanding Medicaid, held a series of rallies across the state, including in front of PNC Park, on Thursday urging state officials to take the federal money.
Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Alex Nixon to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Developer hopes to make Allegheny Center a tech hub
- Murray Energy expects to lay off as many as 1,800 more
- BNY Mellon promotes executive
- Pa. sees widespread job gains; jobless rate holds at 5.3%
- Home sales slipped in April on tight supply, high prices
- BNY Mellon to pay $180M to end foreign-exchange lawsuit
- CVS to enter elder-care market with acquisition of drug distributor Omnicare
- McDonald’s CEO ‘proud’ of pay hike
- Market inches further into record territory as oil price jump boosts energy sector
- Minorities lose out on lending, survey reports
- IRS refunds $10M to tax preparers who paid to take competency test