|The Arizona Medicaid Expansion Experience: Beware the Peddlers of Cost-Shifting Claims
By Lopez Bauman, Erickson, and Sandefur
Goldwater Institute, Aug 2018As state policymakers consider expanding their Medicaid programs under the ACA, they should study the experiences of other states. One of the arguments that convinced Arizona lawmakers in 2013 to expand the program was that employers and employees were paying a “hidden healthcare tax.” According to this theory, when hospitals treat the uninsured, they pass along the unpaid treatment costs to private payers, leaving employers and employees with higher health insurance premiums. But Arizona’s Medicaid expansion did not alleviate the tax and actually made it worse. Before Medicaid was expanded, proponents in 2007 claimed that the cost shifting to private payers amounted to 14% more than hospitals’ costs. But in 2016, private payers paid 27% more than hospital costs—meaning that, three years into the Medicaid expansion, the proportion of cost shifting had actually increased.
Medicaid Work Requirements are Common Sense
By Sally Pipes
Washington Examiner, Aug. 2, 2018
Roughly 6.8 million of the 12.4 million Medicaid enrollees added under Obamacare’s expansion don’t work, according to the Foundation of Government Accountability. Many are capable of working, getting job training, volunteering, or providing child care. Medicaid is meant to serve as a backstop for the truly disadvantaged. It’s not supposed to be a replacement for a job. Physically able enrollees ought to work in exchange for their benefits.
Low Competition Reason for High Obamacare Rates, Study Says
By Robert King
Washington Examiner, Aug. 7, 2018
In the battle over who is to blame for high prices Obamacare insurance, a new study finds that the reason is fewer insurers competing for customers, a new study finds.“Some experts have speculated that these increases are due to greater enrollment among sicker patients, the expiration of market stabilization policies, or the federal government’s discontinuation of funding for cost-sharing subsidies,” the study said. “However, these factors do not explain why some rating areas have experienced rapid premium growth, while others have experienced more modest increases.” A deeper look is needed into how more competition in the individual and small group health insurance markets could drive down premium costs.