Medicaid expansion not right for Pa.
TO THE EDITORS:
I commend Lancaster County state Reps. Ryan Aument, Bryan Cutler, Gordon Denlinger and Dave Hickernell for presenting a unified voice in opposition to the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion provision.
Even without this expansion, Medicaid costs are unsustainable. Over the last decade, program spending increased more than 80 percent -- nearly twice as much as personal income. Medicaid now consumes 30 percent of Pennsylvania's total state operating budget and is projected to grow for years to come.
While federal dollars would cover the majority of the new spending, costs to Pennsylvania's taxpayers are projected to range $1.3 to $5.5 billion over the next eight years. In addition to increased taxes, state residents that self-pay, or have their own insurance, could expect higher insurance premiums and health care bills to compensate for Medicaid's low reimbursement rates to health care providers.
Not only is the expansion unaffordable and costly to taxpayers, it's also a bad deal for potential enrollees. Medicaid recipients experience long waits and difficulty accessing specialty care. Some studies have shown that Medicaid patients experience worse outcomes compared to the uninsured.
Expanding Medicaid will only exacerbate rising health care costs and impose an increasing financial burden on Pennsylvania taxpayers.
Rather than growing government, it is essential to institute health care reforms that offer more choices and control for consumers while maximizing accountability of health care providers.