The Top Ten Reasons Florida Should Reject Medicaid Expansion
- Medicaid will put an enormous financial burden on our state in the future. Expected costs have been all over the board ranging from $3 billion to more than $20 billion over the next ten years, but what is known is that Medicaid spending is expected to more than double by 2020 and Florida will be relying on the federal government to pay these costs, despite the inability of the federal government to pay its current bills. Don’t put this risk on the backs of Florida’s families.
- Real costs of Medicaid expansion will likely be much higher than what’s being estimated. History shows us that estimates for federal healthcare programs have been a fraction of what actual costs end up being. In 1987, Congress estimated that Medicaid’s disproportionate share hospital payments would cost less than $1 billion in 1992. The actual cost in 1992, only five years later, was $17 billion. When Arizona expanded Medicaid, their real costs were four times the estimates.
- Medicaid provides substandard healthcare services whether compared to privately insured, Medicare or uninsured. Multiple studies have shown that Medicaid patients fare worse than people with no insurance at all, and dramatically worse than privately insured patients.
- Medicaid reimburses less than half of what private insurers pay doctors which puts the unpaid costs on everyone else, causing private insurance costs to be even higher. The ACA increases Medicaid payouts to doctors, but only until 2015. After that the payments will either go back down or Florida will have to fork out even more money.
- Forty-one percent of Florida physicians reject new Medicaid patients currently. Medicaid patients have a hard time getting services, which will only worsen if more than a million people are added to the Medicaid rolls.
- Florida’s Medicaid Managed Care reforms haven’t received approval and haven’t been given a chance to work. Florida’s Medicaid Managed Care reforms might help with the doctor shortage, but that’s assuming the federal government grants the final waiver needed to implement it. We should wait until Florida’s broken Medicaid system is fixed before adding more than one million people to it.
- Money from Washington isn’t “free.” The funds to cover the enormous expansion of Medicaid will come from the pockets of Florida’s taxpayers, whether it’s at the state or federal level. State leaders must be aware of the effect taking these “free” federal dollars has on their constituency. The federal government’s debt will be paid for by Florida’s families for generations to come.
- If Florida doesn’t expand Medicaid that money doesn’t go to another state, it doesn’t get spent. Conservative estimates show that the federal government will spend $66 billion on Medicaid expansion just in Florida, $800 billion nationwide.
- Medicaid expansion still leaves 25 million people uninsured. The expansion will still leave more than 2 million Floridians uninsured, and it has a crippling cost to the state and federal budgets as well as increased costs to healthcare for everyone else
- The Affordable Care Act allows everyone over 100% of the Federal Poverty Level to qualify for a federal subsidy to access private insurance. Why would we want to put people over 100% FPL into the broken and costly Medicaid program when they can access private insurance, which will provide them better services and outcomes without burdening the state budget?
The choice seems clear – Medicaid expansion will put huge financial burdens on Florida’s taxpayers and provide substandard service to patients.
The legislature must reject Medicaid expansion.