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Only One Rational Choice - Texas Should Participate in Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act

Only One Rational Choice - Texas Should Participate in Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act

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Published by ProgressTX
If Texas does not expand Medicaid coverage under the ACA, there is a significant economic downside which must be weighed against potential savings in direct State outlays. The health care needs of Texans do not simply go away because individuals do not have insurance coverage. When people are uninsured and cannot pay their bills, it leads to higher private insurance premiums and local taxes to cover the cost of providing uncompensated care. In addition, spending for health care generates an economic stimulus. Finally, when people have health insurance, morbidity and mortality are reduced, thereby increasing productivity.
If Texas does not expand Medicaid coverage under the ACA, there is a significant economic downside which must be weighed against potential savings in direct State outlays. The health care needs of Texans do not simply go away because individuals do not have insurance coverage. When people are uninsured and cannot pay their bills, it leads to higher private insurance premiums and local taxes to cover the cost of providing uncompensated care. In addition, spending for health care generates an economic stimulus. Finally, when people have health insurance, morbidity and mortality are reduced, thereby increasing productivity.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: ProgressTX on Mar 14, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/14/2013

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Neither the Affordable Care Act nor the Medicaid program is perfect, and there are many
opportunities to provide needed health services in a more efficient and cost effective
manner.

However, by not expanding Medicaid coverage as envisioned under the Affordable Care
Act, Texas loses an opportunity to enhance access to health care for about 1.5 million
Texans and foregoes almost $90 billion in federal health care funds over the first 10
years.
Texas is currently plagued by the highest rate of uninsurance and underinsurance in
the nation, leading to lower than optimal health care spending, excessive uncompensated
care, excessive morbidity and mortality, and lost productivity. All of these negative results
decrease economic activity and, therefore, State and local tax receipts.

The economic benefits of improving access to care far more than outweigh the costs.
The Perryman Group found that for every dollar the State spends for Medicaid expansion
under the ACA, $1.29 is returned in dynamic State government revenue.
Over the first 10
years of implementation, economic gains (even when fully adjusted for the diversion of
State funding for other purposes) include an estimated $255.8 billion (2012 dollars) in
output (real gross product) and 3,031,400 person-years of employment (an average of over
300,000 per year).

Although expanding Medicaid coverage is difficult to contemplate in the current budget
environment, it is an investment that improves the quality of life of many Texans, while
simultaneously enhancing the economy, and providing a positive return to the State
government on the dollars expended.

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