Medicaid Spending Trends Do NOT Justify Opposition to Its Expansion | Print |
August 2012

Although the extension of the Medicaid safety net is now the law, some governors and others opposed to the Affordable Care Act have taken to describing it as optional.  Because it has become clear that Medicaid expansion would increase the state's share of Medicaid costs by a negligible amount, opponents have been forced to try to shift the focus.

In defending his intent to reject the opportunity to extend coverage to more than a million uninsured, low-income Floridians for pennies on the dollar, Governor Rick Scott has insisted that the burden of the current Medicaid program is already too onerous.   One particular claim used by the Governor is that "Medicaid [spending] has been growing three and a half times as fast as General Revenue."

In this brief, we examine the "statistic" behind this claim and explain how it is misleading and so inapplicable to current conditions that updating the underlying data used to derive it would yield a conclusion opposite to the one advanced by the Governor and others.

The net cost to the state of extending Medicaid coverage to more than a million of the lowest-income, uninsured Floridians would be little to nothing, particularly after factoring in reductions in the cost of the delivery of "uncompensated care" in settings such as hospital emergency rooms.

> Read the report.