I know, we're starting to sound like a broken record here, but two new studies once again demonstrate that Pennsylvania’s economy and state budget will get a big boost if the commonwealth accepts federal funding allocated to expand Medicaid health coverage.
First, a study by the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) finds that between 2016 and 2021 Medicaid expansion will produce $430 million more annually, on average, for Pennsylvania’s state budget. That includes state budget savings and tax revenue growth from new medical jobs and businesses created to treat the 400,000 uninsured adults and children who will be eligible for health coverage. All told, expansion is projected to add about $3 billion annually to Pennsylvania’s economy between 2016 and 2021, according to the IFO.
Another study by the Pennsylvania Economy League and PA Health Funders Collaborative finds that the expansion of Medicaid will support 35,000 jobs by 2016 and 40,000 jobs by 2022. That is consistent with another recent study from the Hospital and HealthSystem Association of Pennsylvania finding that an expansion of Medicaid will add 35,000 to 39,000 jobs over the next seven years.
Multiple studies now show the economic and state budget benefits of expanding health care to hundreds of thousands who currently lack the security of knowing they can see a doctor when they get sick. There should be no question that this is the right course for Pennsylvania to take.