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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Obamacare Redefines Medicaid - Grey State Regret Predicted

Today January 1, 2014, and moving forward, begins the Obamacare provision to expand the federal health program for Medicaid. 

If the expansion works out, those who can't otherwise afford health care coverage in selected states will have access to wonderful and comprehensive coverage for the first times in their lives. 

My New Year prediction is this.  States that refused this expansion will regret the decision, because working class people who can qualify for coverage will likely take advantage of living in states where they can find work and health care coverage. In other words, if the Medicaid expansion works, it will provide working class people with an opportunity to seek work without worrying about coverage.

Many states, like Maine, refused to accept the generous additional federal money offered by the federal government to implement this expansion. 

States that accepted the expansion, with the accompanying extra money, will bear the burden of success. States that refused the expansion did so with a lot of pontificating about how to pay for the expansion after the start up Federal money is gone.  

Republican are terrified about the Medicaid expansion morphing to become a bridge to a single payer health care system. Obviously, it remains to be seen how states where the expansion is in place will compare economically with those refusing the plan. What's clear is that health care sector jobs will be more secure in states where the expansion is in place.

I predict success of the Medicaid expansion will be a "no brainer". 

Why? Because working class people will move to states where they'll qualify for coverage. Following the workers, start up industries and retailers will expand where they can hire people who already have health coverage. Moreover, when people aren't paying for expensive health insurance, they'll likely spend expendable income to stimulate the local economy.

A graphic map published in the Washington Post shows the states where the expansion is in place compared to those that won't accept the plan.

It'll be easy to develop a side by side comparison of economic growth between states where the expansion is in place with those "grey" states, where the plan has been rejected.  

My New Year prediction sees grey state regret where a political decision was made to refuse the Medicaid expansion.  

Perhaps the 2016, US Presidential election will be less about red state-blue state politics and more on which states accepted the Medicaid expansion versus those that refused to accept the plan.

Redefining Medicaid could be the single biggest success of the Obamacare Health Care Reform law. Unfortunately, at this point, only half of our nation can see this advantage, for now.  

Redefining Medicaid will draw new political lines on our US election map, in my prognosticating opinion.  

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