Friday, May 3, 2013

Goldwater Institute’s Christina Corieri Shows How to Save Taxpayers $609 Billion

And an Extra Bonus – Take Health Care Away From the Working Poor

About the only word left to describe conservative opposition to Medicaid expansion is “mean”.  In the mistaken guise of saving taxpayers money, a person at the Goldwater Institute, Christina Corieri, advocates the 12 states that are undecided on accepting Medicaid expansion to reject it.  Her argument,

Using figures compiled by Kaiser and our own research at the state level, the Goldwater Institute estimates that the federal tab for Medicaid expansion has been reduced by more than $424 billion in new federal spending over the next eight years thanks to the 18 states that have already opted out. If the 12 still-undecided states also decide to opt out, there will be an additional $185 billion in savings.
The more than $609 billion in total savings from these 30 states would represent over 50% of the expected federal spending on the Medicaid expansion.

So what’s the problem here, other than the fact that  people who would be eligible for Medicaid expansion, and their children would not get health care?

In 2014, at least 18 states and the District of Columbia will provide coverage to all adults with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. That currently would translate to coverage for all individuals with incomes below about $15,000 and for households of four people receiving less than about $31,000.

Without Medicaid expansion many of those people would get some health care, primarily in the most inefficient manner such as Emergency Room treatment for non-emergencies and for treatment because a disease or injury has progressed far more than it would have or should have had decent affordable care been available. 

But how would that care be paid for?  Easy question, by the taxpayers in the form of higher insurance premiums, higher co-pays, higher deductibles and lower health care benefits.  So opposing Medicaid expansion may not save a lot of money, but it will cause tremendous misery both health wise for the working poor and money wise for the rest of the population.  Of course for Conservatives that is just an extra bonus.

As for Ms. Corieri, she works for a think tank and while we have no knowledge of the benefits she gets along with her salary, it is almost certain that she had wonderful employer supported health insurance, fantastic health insurance, and no worries at all about her health care. She just wants to deny basic benefits to other people.

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