Political Rhetoric Drives Up Estimates of Medicaid Expansion Cost | Print |
January 2013

The primary claim of those opposed to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act is that the cost to the state would be prohibitive.

One estimate—produced last month by Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration ($2.1 billion per year)—is three times higher than its own estimate from earlier in the year and four times higher than any of the other estimates. For reasons explained in this brief, that estimate must be dismissed outright. Other state-generated estimates ($741 million, $482 million) are less unreasonable, but still deliberately incorporate assumptions that significantly inflate the cost.

In fact, Medicaid expansion would increase the state's share of the total Medicaid budget by only 2 percent over the 10-year period. After factoring in the savings to the state associated with reductions in uncompensated care, the net (true) cost to the state may very well be negative. Thus, despite efforts to make the burden of Medicaid expansion seem onerous and unsustainable, in fact the opposite is true.

> Read the report.