A new Commonwealth Fund report finds North Carolina gives up $2.6 billion in net federal funds by not doing the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. The total amount of net federal money that NC gives up by rejecting the Medicaid expansion far exceeds the total federal money we get for our highways and also exceeds the total federal money spent in our state by the military. I think many people don’t realize the economic hit we are taking by turning down this expansion.
One other interesting statistic from the report. The Fund estimates that while NC would spend $690 million by 2022 for its Medicaid expansion (remember the NC Institute of Medicine estimated this state spending would actually be more than made up for by the billions of federal money that would be drawn down and replace current health spending). Compare to this to what NC will spend in incentive payments to attract business to the state by 2022: $817 million. Amazing that sort of spending is OK, but insuring 500,000 of our people and creating 25,000 health jobs is not.