Child Welfare in the 21st Century

  • September 2012
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Good Business (and Community) Sense – part 2

Posted by lboyd544 on September 10, 2012

Last week I talked about the new money for Oklahoma (and most states) through expansion of Medicaid to 113% Federal Poverty Level.  This week let’s ‘drill down’ on that.

  1. The Medicaid Expansion will help free up state and local spending that now goes to uncompensated care. State and local governments help offset the cost of care that is provided to uninsured patients who cannot afford to pay—paying an estimated 30% of the cost of uncompensated care. In Oklahoma, uncompensated care would be reduced from $886M annually to $277M, a drop of $609M or 69%. (figures from OHCA)
  2. The Medicaid Expansion will reduce state spending on mental health services for lower-income, uninsured patients. This includes spending on state mental hospitals, hospital emergency rooms and community health clinics. This spending has been growing over time, with state and local governments covering 42% of the cost of state mental health expenditures by 2009. Full Medicaid Expansion is estimated to save between $11 and $22 billion in funds states will otherwise spend on mental health programs from 2014-2019.
  3. The Medicaid Expansion will enable states to continue using health care provider assessments as part of their state matching funds. Although federal Medicaid funding to states is open-ended (i.e. a state entitlement), it is limited by a states’ ability to raise its matching share. Oklahoma has taken advantage of federal provisions that place assessments on hospitals and other health care providers that are then used to match (and draw down additional) federal dollars. In fact, this effort was led by the Oklahoma Hospital Association. Without the Medicaid Expansion, hospitals and other providers may be unwilling or unable to pay these assessments, resulting in the loss of federal funds and a negative impact state revenues.
  4. (One of my biggest concerns as a taxpayer!)The Medicaid Expansion will keep residents’ federal taxes flowing into our State. Almost every state resident pays federal taxes, and federal dollars will fund the Medicaid Expansion. Taxpayers residing in states that do not implement the Expansion will be paying out dollars to states that do expand, states like CA, CT, CO, DC, MN, MO, NJ, WA, which have already obtained approval for Medicaid Expansions.

Please talk to your legislators about this cost savings measure. This is more than ‘politics’ or Obamacare. This is about real money, real savings, ….real people!

More next week….

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