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Medicaid benefit

Published January 17, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There are those who oppose a state expansion of Medicaid (under Obamacare) because of ideology, or because it will cost the state money to help the working poor. However, the true cost to the state in dollars is less than is claimed.

The feds will pay 100 percent (and later, 90 percent) of Medicaid expansion costs. This money is paid as wages for nurses, doctors, technologists and other health care workers. Their wages will be taxed as personal income. These taxes will increase our state tax revenue.

In addition, if hospitals are compensated for all the care they provide, then some estimate that the rest of us will pay $1,000 less per year on health insurance premiums. This extra money allows us to spend more money on other things. This stimulates the economy and helps provide jobs for others. More spending raises our sales tax revenues.

As an economic issue, the overall cost of expanding Medicaid is less than opponents claim because of increases in state income tax and sales tax revenues.

Melanie Tayler

Syracuse