Medicaid expansion would help Kansas
The Kansas City Star
The positive effect of a Medicaid expansion on Kansas’ economy and state budget is becoming clearer.
Bottom line: It would create thousands of jobs and, over seven years, provide a big revenue boost.
Those conclusions are in a report the Kansas Hospital Association commissioned from George Washington University and Regional Economic Models Inc.
Researchers say expanding Medicaid to the level called for in the federal Affordable Care Act would pump more than $3 billion into the state’s economy and create more than 4,000 jobs by 2020.
The study estimates 169,000 additional Kansans would be eligible for Medicaid if the state increased its eligibility threshold from 32 percent of the poverty level to 133 percent. Those numbers track closely with an estimate from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The hospital association’s report estimates that economic activity generated through expanded health care services would bring $112.5 million into the state’s cash-starved coffers by 2020.
Meanwhile, Kansas would save $60 million in expenses it now pays for mental health and aid for some medically needy families.
The federal government would pay 100 percent of the costs of the expansion the first three years and never less than 90 percent after that.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has been mum about whether he’ll accept the expansion or not. This latest study builds the case that he should.