New Medicaid program gaining momentum as states recognize benefits

NEA_MedicaidEx-FactSheet_Web-182x300As state Legislatures come back into session this month and budget discussions begin, the new Medicaid option under the Affordable Care Act is gaining momentum.

In the past week alone, the governors of Arizona and North Dakota, who both had previously spoken out against the ACA, included the new Medicaid plan in their budgets because of the economic benefits that would come to their states in the form of federal dollars.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said the new Medicaid plan would bring $2 billion to her state.

Last week, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple told the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald “We try to leave the politics out in the hallway when we make these decisions. In the end, it comes down to are you going to allow your people to have additional Medicaid money that comes at no cost to us, or aren’t you?” he said. “We’re thinking, yes, we should.”

And yesterday, the CEOs of the four hospital systems in Columbus, Ohio, joined together to call for their state to adopt the program because it would stabilize increasing medical costs.

According to a story today in Columbus Business First, the four CEOs “agree that having more people covered will result in more predictable costs because of better coordination instead of episodic ER visits.”

Likewise, Nebraska would see all of these benefits if the Legislature decides to take up the new Medicaid option, which would be fully funded by the federal government for the first two years, and would never be less than 90 percent federally funded.

The new Medicaid plan could return at least $2.3 billion to Nebraska through 2020 and sustain 10,000 new jobs.

Many states have already come to the realization the ACA’s new Medicaid option is a deal too good to pass up.  The same is true right here in Nebraska.

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