Report: Medicaid Expansion Would Create 43K Jobs, $22B in Economic Activity

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A new analysis from the Cone Health Foundation shows that if North Carolina expands Medicaid, it would create 43 thousand jobs and over $20 billion in economic activity by 2020. The report also dives into the economic effects that Medicaid expansion would have on each of North Carolina's 100 counties.

Click here to view the full report.

From the summary release from the report,

Like many states, North Carolina has been considering whether to expand Medicaid eligibility and, if so, whether to customize an expansion by seeking a federal Section 1115 waiver. North Carolina’s Medicaid program currently does not cover parents whose incomes are greater than 50 percent of the federal poverty level (about $10,000 for a family of three) and adults without children who are not elderly or disabled have no coverage at all. The state’s Medicaid eligibility levels rank in the bottom quartile of the states. Almost one-fifth (18.1 percent) of North Carolinians below 65 are uninsured, exceeding the national average.

Because North Carolina declined to expand Medicaid in 2014, when this first became possible, the state is already experiencing negative consequences. Since it is unlikely that a Medicaid expansion would be implemented in 2015, the problems will continue to mount.

  • North Carolina lost $2.7 billion in federal funding in 2014 and is losing $3.3 billion in 2015, compared to the amounts it would have earned had it expanded Medicaid in 2014.
  •  As a result, more than 23,000 fewer jobs are being created statewide in 2014 and 29,000 fewer in 2015. For example, 2,500 fewer jobs are being created in Wake County in 2014.
  •  The state’s total economy is about $1.7 billion smaller in 2014 than if Medicaid had expanded, causing the state to lose almost $100 million in potential state tax revenue.

Counties also lost ground. For example, Mecklenburg County’s gross county product is $236 million smaller in 2014 and the county lost more than $2 million in county revenue because Medicaid was not expanded.

In the coming year, North Carolina has the opportunity to revisit this issue, which could permit implementation of a Medicaid expansion by 2016. Such an expansion could enable more than 300,000 low-income adults to gain coverage in 2016 and almost half a million by 2017. Deciding not to expand Medicaid by 2016 would prolong the harmful consequences for years.

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