Will Medicaid Expansion Boost Pennsylvania’s Economy?

MedicaidA new study commissioned by the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania predicts that if the state expands Medicaid, the program will produce $3.2 billion in annual growth over the next seven years, and sustain 39,000 jobs. But as CF Policy Analyst Elizabeth Stelle told Capitolwire (subscription required), the study is “just more of the same misguided economic-multiplier arguments we’ve been hearing for months”:

Noting that every dollar being used to support expansion and the ACA comes out of taxpayer pockets, Stelle said: “It is like taking water from one end of the pond to another, and claiming you’ve grown the economy by putting water back into the pond. “

“Absent expansion, these dollars would be invested in jobs and economic growth with no government skimming off the top. An NFIB study found PA will lose 3,400 jobs by 2022 due to the health insurance tax alone,” and the (Affordable Care Act) “contains at least 20 separate taxes.”

Not only is Medicaid expansion unlikely to boost Pennsylvania’s economy, it provides poor-quality care for its recipients. Good things to remember as Governor Tom Corbett meets with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on April 2 to discuss Medicaid expansion.