Commentary

New report highlight’s NC’s self-destructive decision not to fill the Medicaid gap

The beneficial impacts of Obamacare continue add up, but unfortunately, North Carolina isn’t getting its fair share. That’s that’s one of the takeaways from a new report distributed yesterday on the fifth anniversary of the law. As health policy expert Tara Culp Ressler of Think Progress reports:

“According to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), hospitals saved at least $7.4 billion last year, thanks in large part to reforms under Obamacare. The savings reflect a reduction in the so-called “uncompensated care” that hospitals provide to uninsured Americans, and are even greater than HHS officials predicted they would be at the beginning of this year.

Since people without insurance typically don’t have any means to cover their medical bills, the cost of their treatment ends up falling on the hospital itself. Therefore, as more people gain coverage, it become less expensive for hospitals to care for their patients. More than 16 million previously uninsured Americans have gotten covered under Obamacare, contributing to the biggest drop in the national uninsurance rate over the past four decades.”

If states like North Carolina had gotten on board with closing the Medicaid gap, things would be even better:

“The savings have been most pronounced in the states that agreed to accept Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion, which seeks to extend public insurance to additional low-income people. Nearly 70 percent of the savings documented in the HHS report — a total of $5 billion — occurred in the 29 states that have expanded Medicaid. And, if every state had agreed to add more people to their Medicaid rolls, their hospitals could have saved an extra $1.4 billion.”

In other words, here’s more confirmation that,  in addition to helping hundreds of thousands of working people in need, Medicaid expansion would do wonders for some of the most important businesses in North Carolina (especially in rural North Carolina) hospitals. It’s hard to imagine that state leaders can resist taking this obvious and long overdue step much longer.

5 Comments


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    March 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

    We will be glad we did not seek out a share of this bad investment once the Medicaid thing blows up. You have to look at the long term detriments that offset any short term gains in order to get the big picture…but radical progressives never look that far ahead, it is just screech about what is happening at this moment.

  2. love my state

    March 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

    actually there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that this is going to blow up. we are foolish for not accepting and expanding. the black man is still in the white house, whether you like it or not.

  3. LayintheSmakDown

    March 24, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    You are simply wrong State, we would be stupid to accept a short term gain for the promise of long term hurt. I don’t care if the occupant of the WH is red, yellow, black, or white…or even Saint Ron Reagan himself. This would be a recipe for disaster no matter who put it in place.

  4. Pertains!

    March 24, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    The short term gain is probably only important to the families who aren’t quite poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. Maybe they will become homeless or some will just go ahead and die. You forget many of the ones who would GAIN are children.

  5. LayintheSmakDown

    March 25, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Or they buy those affordable healthcare plans available from Barrycare. And they also gain by having a government that is able to continue some of the other perks they take advantage of regularly.

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