Obamacare worth more than $150 million to Arkansas, report says | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 6, 2015

Obamacare worth more than $150 million to Arkansas, report says

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 2:49 PM

click to enlarge study.jpg
Here are $150 million worth of reasons why Gov. Asa Hutchinson ultimately had no choice but to recommend continuation of the state's expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.

And these same reasons are why — though the legislature nominally ended Obamacare in 2017 — the program is almost certain to continue, though a Hutchinson task force will undoubtedly attempt to rebrand it and add some poor-punishing elements to make it more palatable to Tea Party types.

Research funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that Medicaid expansion had saved hundreds of millions for eight states studied, including Arkansas. The savings came from new federal money for Medicaid enrollees, a reduction in spending on the uninsured and new coverage for some expensive beneficiaries, such as the disabled. The benefits to the state should offset state costs of expansion through 2021.

Arkansas alone will benefit to the tune of $154 million in 2014-15. Some $6.4 million with be saved on community health without reducing services, the report said.

Here's the full report.

Arkansas will see budget savings and revenue gains totaling $154 million in 2014-2015 from expanding Medicaid eligibility. Of that total, $6.4 million will be saved on community health without reducing services, finds a new report from Manatt with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“States that expanded Medicaid are finding that it was a win-win proposition. More people have health insurance, which reduces the states’ costs for caring for the uninsured. Savings to state budgets are in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” said John Lumpkin, MD, senior vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “When states expand who is eligible for Medicaid coverage, they see the federal government cover more of the costs of caring for patients who historically have been expensive to care for.”

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