Letter to the Editor

Medicaid expansion facts

Friday, March 1, 2013

To the Editor:

At the Putnam County Farm Bureau Legislative Update session on Saturday, February 16, it was reported (Banner-Graphic 2/22/13) that Senator Rodric Bray said that the Medicaid expansion will "cost Hoosier taxpayers $1.4 billion by 2020." This may be so if we only consider the dollars paid out under the program. But if we consider that Federal funds will cover 100 % of the cost until 2016, phasing down to 90% in 2020 and thereafter, there will be a net savings to Indiana. The real cost should also include the cost of uncompensated care payments, which states pay to hospitals and other health-care providers for the care they provide to people without insurance. A study by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (November 2012) reports that the impact of the expansion of the the Affordable Care Act Medicaid will actually save Indiana $562 million. Contrary to Senator Bray, we will lose money if he and others vote against Indiana accepting the Medicaid expansion, which he stated he intends to do. If the Indiana legislature votes not to expand Medicaid, Indiana will lose money. Not only that, Indiana will be paying for other states to expand their Medicaid while Indiana gets nothing for its dollars paid into the Federal fund.

Teresa Batto