Attention Utah voters:
Last week’s FGA’s own Josh Archambault – a former senior aide to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney while he was governor – laid out a cautionary tale in the Deseret News from Massachusetts’ own experiences with Medicaid expansion.
Like Utah’s current Medicaid expansion proposal, Massachusetts also implemented a “health care provider tax” to fund its uncompensated care. Massachusetts’ Medicaid expansion was supposed to change all of that. The thought was, if you get more people covered, you will reduce health care costs.
But as William F. Buckley once said, “idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”
Here’s what really happened with Massachusetts’ Medicaid expansion:
- Massachusetts’ Medicaid enrollment has spiked, and costs increased $2.9 billion just last year alone. One in four commonwealth residents is now on Medicaid, and the program now costs Massachusetts taxpayers $16 billion a year, or nearly half the commonwealth budget. (For comparison, Utah’s entire budget is just $12 billion.)
- While Massachusetts did originally see a decline in uncompensated care costs, these costs now reach over $700 million a year. When Governor Romney’s health care law was passed it was estimated that uncompensated care costs would not go past $200 million a year. Although even more residents of the commonwealth have Medicaid coverage, the number of hospital visits being paid under Massachusetts’ Health Safety Net fund has continued to rise.
- Despite the promise of lower private insurance premiums, Massachusetts premiums continue to rise and are now the highest in the nation. The costs of Medicaid expansion are being passed on to families with private insurance.
- Hospitals in the commonwealth have hired even more lobbyists to access additional public taxpayer money, and have been cut special deals by state and federal lawmakers in the form of billions of dollars of “supplemental” payments, which were supposed to be unnecessary under the Massachusetts law, especially after Medicaid was expanded.
Bottom line: If it can happen in Massachusetts, it can happen in Utah.
Utah legislators would be wise to reject ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion.
Please take a moment and read Josh's article here.
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