FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2015, 3:00 PM
Contact: Kevin D. McGee, (907) 441-2137
Kentucky and Arkansas see budget savings after Medicaid expansion
NAACP calls on legislators to move beyond partisan politics and do what’s right-- expand Medicaid.
ANCHORAGE: On Friday, March 13, 2015, the Alaska House voted along caucus lines to reject an amendment to the Operating Budget that would have expanded Medicaid under the ACA.
Despite reports from the Department of Health and Social Services showing cost reductions under expansion, most in the majority caucus have continually argued that it is unlikely that Alaska would see budget savings. However, new data now shows that when Kentucky and Arkansas expanded Medicaid to single adults making 133% of the FPL, they did indeed see cost savings and new revenues.
A report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that both Kentucky and Arkansas have experienced cost savings due to accepting Federal money for Medicaid expansion under the ACA. Using the new Federal funds, Kentucky saved $9 million dollars in 2014. These savings came primarily from shifting programs that depended on state funding to the federal government. Arkansas likewise found $17.5 million in savings in 2014. These savings came about by implementing the 100% federal matching funds for the new enrollee population that included those previously in waiver programs and other target groups. Arkansas also saw $4.7 million in revenue gains during 2014. Read the full report here.
“It’s time to put Alaska first and expand Medicaid,” said Kevin McGee, 1st Vice President, Chairman, Political Action Committee NAACP Anchorage. “It is costing our state both money and lives the longer this process is stalled. More and more information is coming out that shows expansion is a cost-saving, life-saving opportunity. To continually reject this federal funding for partisan reasons is fiscally irresponsible. We should be looking at the actual data, living in the world of facts from other states, and use this opportunity to help close our budget deficit.”