***For Immediate Release***
October 15, 2018
Contact, Kate Wolfe
Insure The Good Life Communications Director
Study Released Today Underscores the Economic Benefits of Medicaid Expansion
With Three Weeks to Go Before Election Day, New Report Shows Initiative 427 Would Create Nearly 11,000 Jobs and Generate $1.3 Billion in Economic Activity
LINCOLN – A new study released today by Nebraska business and economics professors seeks to inform voters about the economic benefits of Initiative 427. In addition to delivering health care to 90,000 Nebraskans, the report finds the measure would create nearly 11,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in economic activity. It would also generate more in combined local and state revenues than it would cost.
Initiative 427 would drive economic growth by bringing home nearly $600 million in federal funds every year. Thirty-three states have already expanded Medicaid and are receiving the federal funds.
“The choice in this election is whether we are going to bring our tax money home from Washington, D.C. to help hard-working Nebraskans get healthcare and create jobs or whether we are going to continue to watch our money go to 33 other states to pay for their health care and to help their economies instead,” said State Sen. John McCollister. “Today’s study underscores the importance of us putting Nebraska first – something we can do by voting for Initiative 427.”
In addition to the health care and economic benefits that the initiative would deliver, the study demonstrates Medicaid expansion would also reduce health care costs and the burden placed on local property taxpayers. Residents without insurance tend to forgo preventative care and end up in emergency rooms, which is the most expensive type of care, after their conditions have worsened. Often, uninsured residents can’t afford to pay those bills, which get passed along to county taxpayers and to all Nebraskans through higher health insurance premiums.
The study finds Initiative 427 would reduce uncompensated care by $343 million over a three-year period.
It would also ensure that rural Nebraskans continue to have access to care by alleviating the financial stress that rural hospitals and clinics face. Forty-five percent of Nebraska’s Critical Access Hospitals are in severe financial distress as a result of the high amount of uncompensated care.
Nebraskans who earn less than $17,000 a year or 138 percent of the federal poverty line would be eligible for health care through Medicaid if initiative 427 is approved by voters. These are Nebraskans who work at jobs without healthcare and earn too much to currently qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford insurance on their own.
The report, “Nebraska Medicaid Expansion 2018 Update,” was authored by University of Nebraska at Kearney professors Allan Jenkins, Ph.D., and Ron Konecny, Ph.D., and was conducted on behalf of the Nebraska Hospital Association.
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