MONTGOMERY — Gov. Robert Bentley said Thursday after a speech at a legal conference that his administration is considering expansion of Alabama’s Medicaid program, but has not made a final decision.
Bentley said he was concerned about the health care access for the state’s working poor and rural health care infrastructure.
However, Bentley said a stumbling block is figuring out a way to fund the state’s share of costs.
Thirty states have expanded Medicaid under President Obama’s health care law.
The governor has previously said he might support a state-designed program with work and premium requirements on recipients.
Remind the governor that the state needs this and that states that have expanded have seen increased tax revenue and lower costs of care for their citizens.
If all states accepted the expansion:
- The number of nonelderly people enrolled in Medicaid would increase by nearly 7 million, or 40 percent.
- 4.3 million fewer people would be uninsured.
- There would be $472 billion more federal Medicaid spending from 2015 to 2024.
- States would spend $38 billion more on Medicaid from 2015 to 2024.
- Savings on reduced uncompensated care would offset between 13 and 25 percent of that additional state spending.
- States would be able to realize other types of budgetary savings if they expanded Medicaid that are not included in this report.
Remind the governor that a major cause of bankruptcy is unpaid medical bills from catastrophic illnesses and Medicaid protects people from this and in general people with Medicaid get better quicker.
From Urban Institute
Uninsured people receive less medical care and less timely care, they have worse health outcomes, and lack of insurance is a fiscal burden for them and their families. Moreover, the benefits of expanding coverage outweigh the costs for added services. Safety-net care from hospitals and clinics improves access to care but does not fully substitute for health insurance.
From The Hill
Repealing the Medicaid expansion is a dicey proposition for endangered Senate incumbents running in four states: Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, all of which broadened Medicaid.
Another Senate Republican, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed concern that states that expanded Medicaid would be penalized by billions of dollars if Congress repealed the federal assistance.
“Repealing the Medicaid expansion is not going to be in there because it’s too problematic for many Republicans,” said the lawmaker, adding, “I don’t want to stick the state with the bill.”
Here is the governor’s contact information. Let him know what you think.