The slide to the left was part of a presentation by Greg Moody, head of Ohio Gov. John Kasich Office of Health Transformation given to the Ohio legislature. Ohio has decided to upgrade to Medicaid Expansion.
Lately I have been wondering what motivates Governor Branstad in some of his decisions. I would like to think that the good of the whole population of Iowa would be the first consideration. But his stand against the expansion of Medicaid in conjunction with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act smells like the Republican Party’s desire to make Obama look bad is his first consideration.
It is even beginning to look moreso like that with now that some of the most anti-Obama governors in the country have decided to do the best thing for their people. With Rick Scott in Florida coming on board Wednesday, the list of virulent anti-Obama governors who will adopt Medicaid Expansion includes Snyder of Michigan, Kasich of Ohio and Brewer of Arizona among others.
They seem to know a couple of things that maybe they would like to share with Branstad:
1) Their citizens will be paying taxes to support Medicaid Expansion, but won’t get any advantage unless they join.
2) With the ACA in effect for nearly a year by election day, 2014, explaining why they decided to not let some people have medical care will be hard to do.
3) Having the US government pick up the tab for Medicaid for 3 years could really help the state budget.
4) The 90/10 split even for a larger number of people may not cost much more than the current 60/40 split.
5) Hospitals will now get paid for bills they were previously unable to get paid for.
6) Thus hospitals will not have to pad the bills of those who are insured. Thus insurance premiums may actually come down.
7) And finally, with more people accessing medical services, there will be jobs created.
Branstad’s math on many things has been quite suspect. For instance, when Iowa adds 18,000 jobs, Branstad reports a 120,000 increase. But I would think even he could see that covering 150,000 more people for slightly more money while insurance premiums stay level or maybe even drop is a real plus.
The federal government picks up the bill for the first three years on Medicaid Expansion. After that the split goes to a 90/10 split with the feds picking up the 90% Branstad has expressed concern that that 90% will slip in the future. It may, we don’t know. But for making a decision today, the governor must go with the reality that is and not the unreality he dreams. The republican Party these days is mired in a world of unreality that is incapable of dealing with reality. Governor, please look at the reality and make the decision for the good of all of Iowa. Folks, if you can, write your legislator and the governor to try to persuade them that Medicaid Expansion is a policy the majority of Iowa supports. You can find your legislator here. The governor’s office can be contacted here or by phone at 515-281-5211.