A recent analysis conducted for Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare supports what we’ve been saying all along: health reform’s Medicaid expansion to cover all low-income adults is a good deal for states. (A study by Arkansas’ Department of Human Services found much the same thing.) The Idaho study estimates that the expansion would actually save the state $6.5 million from 2014 through 2024.
That’s because state and local spending on health care services for the uninsured will fall by roughly $792 million over that period if Idaho expands Medicaid — since many uninsured residents will get health care services through Medicaid — while the federal government will pay the vast majority of the added Medicaid costs.
This finding is so compelling that the panel of community and state leaders that the governor appointed to examine the issue unanimously recommended that Idaho move forward with the expansion.