Expanding Medicaid to include persons who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level will create an estimated 254,000 Washingtonians that will be newly eligible for health insurance coverage. This expansion will allow additional thousands of individuals to receive preventative health services, which will effectively decrease the overall cost of their health care. This is a financial burden that has previously fallen on the shoulders of Washington taxpayers, a fiscal boost to our state’s economy.
Over the last four years state health care programs have experienced a loss of $12 billion. As estimated by Washington’s Office of Financial Management, the Affordable Care Act will save the state $142 million over the next few years. The federal government will assume the financial burden for the health care costs of individuals currently being paid for under Medicaid. An additional $1.2 billion will be brought into Washington by the federal government, creating 10,282 health care-related jobs, when the state’s unemployment rate is at an all-time high.
The take-home message is that Medicaid expansion under the ACA means more people will receive the health care they need, making the workforce more productive, creating more jobs, and generating more money for Washington.