Members of a broad coalition of advocates for Medicaid expansion in Georgia will convene at the state Capitol this week to urge state leaders to consider new evidence that embracing the new funding is in its financial interest.
Tuesday, Feb. 19, members of the Cover Georgia coalition will fan out across the hallways of the Gold Dome to make sure lawmakers are aware of all the state has to gain from expansion.
Expanding Medicaid provides a jolt to Georgia’s economy while addressing one of the most pressing needs of the state – providing new coverage options to the nearly 2 million Georgians without health insurance.
Georgia would gain more than 56,000 new jobs as part of a $6.5 billion per year boost to the state’s economy if it takes advantage of more than $3 billion a year in new federal funding available to expand Medicaid coverage, according to a recent report released by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation,. This substantial economic benefit – not to mention the health coverage gains for hundreds of thousands of Georgians – comes with a relatively modest price of about $200 million a year over the next decade.
Examining the economic impact on a per-dollar basis makes the value of the Medicaid expansion even more obvious. For instance, each $1 Georgia invests over the next decade will bring more than $14 in new federal money to Georgia’s health care system. The economic activity created by the new investment in the health system actually benefits the entire economy, leading to an overall economic boost of more than $30 for each $1 in state funding. Download the fact sheet.
One of the benefits of the increased economic activity is that state and local tax collections will also see a jump. In fact, the report projects more than $220 million in yearly state and local tax revenue due to the increased economic activity, while an earlier state estimate projected $75 million in other state revenue gains. In total, the new state and local revenue gains could offset the new state spending, and that’s before any potential state budget savings are identified.
These findings should give Georgia’s leaders a new reason to more closely examine the benefits of expanding Medicaid, not just for the Georgians who could finally get health coverage, but also for the sake of Georgia’s health care system and its economy.
1 thought on “Medicaid Expansion Supporters Hold “Cover Georgia” Day at Gold Dome, Feb. 19, 2013”
Good analysis of the economic impact of this program. With Georgia having just expanded its medical university from Augusta to UGA in Athens and the potential growth to be derived from the existing medical industry footprint in metro Atlanta (Emory University, Morehouse Medical School, existing and start-up North Georgia biotechnology industry, etc), plus the expanding medical research base developing in metropolitan Savannah, expanding Medicaid to implement the Affordable Care Act could be the smartest economic growth move the state could make. Spillover effects of healthcare dollars to bio-science related industries and others will help ensure the state’s continued leadership in the economic growth of the southeast. Broad access to healthcare that is affordable will mean healthier employees available to all industries (including agribusiness). Long-term employers should see reduced absenteeism due to illness and enhanced workforce productivity.