Thursday, January 30, 2020

OCPA on new Medicaid plan: "conservative window dressing of ObamaCare's expansion"


Medicaid expansion means higher taxes, higher medical expenses for Oklahomans

OKLAHOMA CITY (February 3, 2020)— Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs President Jonathan Small issued the following statement today after it was announced Oklahoma will seek to expand Medicaid to cover up to 628,000 able-bodied Oklahoma adults at a state taxpayer cost of up to $374 million annually. The proposed expansion would occur under a federal waiver program announced today that allows states to slightly modify expansion plans.

“Republican plans to expand welfare aren’t any better than Democrats’ plans to expand welfare,” Small said. “In fact, sources ranging from the Government Accountability Office to state actuaries have found that Republican plans to expand welfare in Indiana, Arkansas and other places actually cost more than Democrats’ welfare-expansion plans. The broad proposal unveiled today basically adds conservative window dressing to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, and the result of expansion will be the same as what we have seen in other states: exploding costs, higher taxes, and stagnant or worsening health outcomes.

“Any form of Medicaid welfare expansion mostly serves to enrich big-box urban-based hospitals and big insurance companies while failing rural areas,” Small continued. “Medicaid expansion consistently fails to generate meaningful improvement in health outcomes, and indirectly rations care for the most vulnerable already on Medicaid, while increasing health care prices for everyone else due to the cost-shifting that occurs because of Medicaid. And the icing on the cake is Medicaid expansion has led to increased taxes in many cases. There’s nothing in Oklahoma’s proposal under the federal waiver that would change that trajectory. In fact, Oklahoma would be required to offer and pay for even more services under this proposal than under traditional Medicaid expansion.”

About the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) is a public policy research organization focused primarily on state-level issues. OCPA conducts research and analysis of public issues in Oklahoma from a perspective of limited government, individual liberty, and a free-market economy.

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