Must-Read: Kevin Drum: Red States Spent $2 Billion in 2015 to S—- the Poor

Must-Read: Nobody is saying anymore that states’ rejecting Medicaid expansion is a way of raising the chances of repealing-and-replacing ObamaCare with something better. Only true dead-enders–cough, Michael F. Cannon–are claiming that Medicaid is ineffective. And more and more evidence piles up that Medicaid expansion lowers rather than raising state-level health spending even in the short run. The remarkable thing is that the anti-Medicaid expansion zombies just keep on going–and it’s not just the poor, it’s the disabled, it’s the elderly whom Medicare copays have made poor, and its the hospitals and doctors and nurses who treat the poor:

Kevin Drum: Red States Spent $2 Billion in 2015 to S—- the Poor: “In 2015… spending by states that refused to expand Medicaid…

…grew by 6.9 percent. That’s pretty close to the historical average. However, spending by states that accepted Medicaid expansion grew by only 3.4 percent. Obamacare may have increased total Medicaid enrollment and spending, but the feds picked up most of the tab. At the state level, it actually reined in the rate of growth…. The states that have refused the expansion are… willing to shell out money just to demonstrate their implacable hatred of Obamacare. How much money? Well, the expansion-refusing states spent $61 billion of their own money on Medicaid in 2014. If that had grown at 3.4 percent instead of 6.9 percent, they would have saved about $2 billion this year… denying health care to the needy and paying about $2 billion for the privilege. Try to comprehend the kind of people who do this….

The residents of every state pay taxes to fund Obamacare, whether they like it or not. Residents of the states that refuse to expand Medicaid are paying… Obamacare taxes… about $20 billion of that is for Medicaid expansion…. So they’re willing to let $20 billion go down a black hole and pay $2 billion extra [a year] in order to prevent Obamacare from helping the needy. It’s hard to fathom, isn’t it?

October 26, 2015


Brad DeLong
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