(Undated) - Indiana could miss out on roughly $3 billion a year in economic growth if it doesn't expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, according to a new study.
The Indiana Hospitals Association commissioned a report from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Center for Health Policy to aid in arguing for an expansion of Medicaid in Indiana.
The university study shows that Indiana’s Medicaid program could generate between $2.4 billion and $3.4 billion in new economic activity in the state. The billions would mean up to $108 million in additional state and local tax revenue each year and would support more than 30,000 jobs through 2020.
“Expanding coverage in Indiana would benefit all Hoosiers,” said Doug Leonard, president of the non-profit Indiana Hospital Association. “This report demonstrates the positive impact that extending coverage would bring to our state’s economy and the overall health of our communities.”
The expansion would be costly. The same study determines that growing Medicaid would cost $503 million over seven years.
However, if Indiana does expand Medicaid – an ideal not held by Governor Mike Pence, whose budget did not include expanded Medicaid funding in 2013 and 2014 – the study estimates coverage for uninsured Hoosiers would bring Indiana more than $10 billion in funding from the federal government through 2020. More than 406,000 of the state’s residents would receive health coverage.
The hospital association says that Indiana hospitals provided nearly $3 billion in uncompensated care in 2011. By not expanding coverage, the organization warns, hospitals may be forced to cut services due to the burden of treating patients who have no coverage.
The report also indicates that by significantly decreasing the number of uninsured Hoosiers, individuals with private insurance would save $236 and families would save $677 in annual premiums beginning in 2014.
Indiana lawmakers are scheduled to meet in both House and Senate committee hearings Wednesday to begin discussion on bills that would set up a state-run insurance exchange under the ACA.