Monday, July 08, 2019

1889 Institute: CO study shows hospital prices rise with Medicaid expansion

Medicaid expansion only enriches the richest sector in our economy

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (July 8, 2019) – The 1889 Institute, an Oklahoma state policy think tank, has published “Medicaid Expansion in Colorado: An Exercise in Futility.” The paper primarily interprets, in plain language, the conclusions of a study conducted by the Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise Board. Further context regarding the health care sector in the nation is provided. In short, the Colorado study showed that hospitals in Colorado became less efficient and raised their prices after Medicaid was expanded.

“This is exactly the opposite result of what we are told will happen if we expand Medicaid under Obamacare,” said Byron Schlomach, author of the report and Director of the 1889 Institute. “The Colorado study and another study out of Arizona make it clear that Medicaid expansion is mainly about enriching its principle advocates, the health care industry,” he said.

The study points out that health care spending from all sources takes up almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy, that 13 of the 15 highest-paying professions are in health care, and that with 90 percent of health care being paid for by someone other than patients, there is no true market in health care. Schlomach attributes the problems with high prices in health care to the lack of market forces brought on by federal policy.

Schlomach said that it does not bother him that people in health care professions make a lot of money. “What bothers me is when they claim they are in dire financial straits without more taxpayer funding when, in fact, health care is financially better off than anyone else,” he said. “These studies from Colorado and Arizona show the extent to which the health industry constantly raises prices, not out of necessity, but simply because they can get away with it due to their subterfuge and government policies,” said Schlomach.

About the 1889 Institute
The 1889 Institute is an Oklahoma think tank committed to independent, principled state policy fostering limited and responsible government, free enterprise and a robust civil society. The publication, “Medicaid Expansion in Colorado: An Exercise in Futility” and other reports on Medicaid health care can be found on the nonprofit’s website at


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