Proponents of Medicaid expansion argue that it would insure more people, that it takes advantage of “free” federal money and that it will create jobs and pump up local economies. But the fact that barely half the states are taking action to expand Medicaid indicates that this federal giveaway may come with unacceptable risks and costs, including:
- Expansion will dump more people into a system that provides poorer access to care and poorer health outcomes than private insurance.
- Federal matching funds are neither free nor guaranteed, potentially leaving the state with an unsustainable funding requirement.
- Expanding Medicaid without fundamentally reforming it perpetuates its shortcomings and will crowd out other public spending priorities.
There is no cost to delaying, but expansion is forever. This decision should wait until we can learn more.
There are alternatives to Medicaid expansion that will actually provide quality care at lower costs, and without creating an entirely new dependent class of young, able Montanan adults. Our policy note gives you all the information you need to see why and how we should take a pass on expansion and concentrate on true reforms.