Analysis: Medicaid Expansion Would Trigger 'Positive Net Impact on Idaho's Finances' 

click to enlarge A grass roots effort secured enough signatures to get a Medicaid expansion initiative on this November's ballot - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • A grass roots effort secured enough signatures to get a Medicaid expansion initiative on this November's ballot
While Idaho health care advocates prepare for a big push to get voter approval for Medicaid expansion in this November's general election, a nonpartisan
nonprofit has published a brief on the fiscal impact of such an expansion. The bottom line: Medicaid expansion would have "a positive net impact on Idaho's finances," according to the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy.

The Center points to full fiscal analysis prepared by Milliman, Inc. and commissioned by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The analysis concludes that if Medicaid were to be expanded, and the current indigent and catastrophic care programs continue, the net cost per person covered per year would be about $47 or about $4.4 million. But if the Idaho Legislature chose to phase out indigent and catastrophic care programs, that could actually turn into a net savings of $15.6 million. Additionally, the analysis says any revenues generated as a result of economic stimulus from a healthier Idaho would make the fiscal picture even more positive. The additional revenues would be triggered by the employment of more nurses, clinic managers and other healthcare staff to provide care. And with a more robust workforce contributing to the economy, that possible impact could exceed $20 million annually, based on previous economic analysis.

"When you combine state and local savings and new revenues we can expect from the economic stimulus and then compare that to costs, you see that Medicaid expansion will have a positive net impact on Idaho's finances," said Lauren Necochea, ICFP director.
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