IBJNews

Report: Medicaid expansion could juice economy

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Proponents of a Medicaid expansion in Indiana are playing up the economic boost the state and its businesses could see from the expansion of health insurance coverage called for by President Obama’s health reform law.

A Medicaid expansion could inject $1.3 billion annually into the state's economy, leading to the creation of 16,400 new jobs, according to a new study by the left-leaning advocacy group Families USA.

Those numbers, while substantial, are actually lower than a February study sponsored by the Indiana Hospital Association, which predicted $3.4 billion in economic activity and more than 30,000 jobs created by 2020.

“From an economic standpoint, expanding the Medicaid program is a no-brainer,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, which is based in Washington, D.C., during an April 12 teleconference.

The study, released on April 12, used an economic impact model developed by Regional Economic Model Inc., to estimate how much of the federal money that would support a Medicaid expansion would stick in the Indiana economy.

The study is the latest piece of evidence cited by supporters of a Medicaid expansion to convince employees and business groups to support the expansion. Previous studies sponsored by the Indiana Hospital Association and Jackson Hewitt noted that employers would see their costs for health insurance decreased or moderated.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has been reluctant to expand Medicaid, which is a health insurance program for the poor jointly funded by each state and the federal government. In Indiana, the state spends nearly $2 billion per year on Medicaid—roughly half of what the federal spends to support the Indiana Medicaid program.

The health reform law called for all states to expand eligibility for Medicaid coverage to residents making 138 percent of the federal poverty limit, or about $31,800 for a family of four. Indiana’s Medicaid program already covers children and pregnant mothers above that threshold. But it only covers adults without kids who earn less than 25 percent of the federal poverty limit, or about $5,800 per year.

Those new rules would make more than 500,000 Hoosiers newly qualified for Medicaid coverage.

And under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pay for that expansion in full for the first three years and would then step its support down to 90 percent—still much higher than its current level of support for Medicaid coverage.

Still, the annual costs to Indiana would range from $50 million to $140 million, according to various estimates that have been produced in the past year.

Pence has worried out loud that the costs of a Medicaid expansion would grow over time—either because of higher-than-expected costs or because the federal government’s promised support will prove unsustainable.

"Left unchecked, the meteoric rise in Medicaid spending will consume more of our budget, leaving less for roads and schools," Pence wrote in an op-ed column in IBJ on April 6.

And business groups, in spite of the appeals of groups like Families USA, remain skeptical.

“Some of the benefits are undeniable,” said Mike Ripley, a health care lobbyist at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, noting the potential for additional jobs and economic activity. “But I tend to be more pessimistic because I haven’t seen the federal government do anything that has saved anybody any money—in general.”

“The federal government’s broke now, and we haven’t even seen the impact of what Medicaid and the health care expansion is going to do. Are they even going to sustain this thing for the long term?" Ripley added. "I’m not so sure.”

The Indiana Chamber has supported Pence’s preferred option, which is to expand Medicaid coverage by negotiating a block grant of funding from the federal government, which would cap the state’s exposure to future costs, and by using the Healthy Indiana Plan, which uses health savings accounts to provide health insurance to low-income Hoosier adults.

Hospital groups also support Pence’s idea to use HIP to expand Medicaid coverage. It is estimated Pence’s plan would cover more than 400,000 Hoosiers who are currently uninsured.

But during the Families USA teleconference, some Indiana groups said it would be better for Indiana to expand its traditional Medicaid program, and not use the HIP program. HIP currently covers about 40,000 Hoosiers.

“Faith leaders are concerned whether HIP can expand to cover up to 450,000 Hoosiers,” said Dan Gangler, director of communication for the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. He added, “We’re also worried about the real risk that the federal government will reject this approach, since it includes upfront contributions and caps on coverage not required anywhere else in the country.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT