NYT: By now it’s pretty clear that red states' refusal to expand health coverage under Medicaid aren’t really worried about the expense. They’re motivated entirely by ideological stubbornness — “for no other reason than political spite,”
New figures, in fact, show that the cost to the states of expanding Medicaid is less than previously thought. In February, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the expansion would cost the states $70 billion through 2024. This morning, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noticed a figure in the April update to the C.B.O. report that said the state costs have dropped by a third, to $46 billion. (The price tag is so low over a ten-year period because the federal government will pick up 95 percent of the total amount.)
The real costs to the states will be even less, though, because if they expand Medicaid, they will no longer have to pay for much of the emergency care of uninsured people that now takes place at hospitals and clinics. Estimates of this savings, according to the CBPP, range from $26 billion to $101 billion through 2019.
The 19 states that have flatly refused to expand the program are ignoring these facts. (The issue is under debate in another five reluctant states.) Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, one of the loudest in the “hell, no” chorus of anti-Medicaid Republican governors, claims the state cannot afford even the small fraction of the cost it would have to bear. But the expansion would actually save the state as much as $78 million this year in uninsured costs and $134 million next year, according to the state’s own budgetary analysis. Expanding Medicaid would also add about 15,000 new health care jobs in Louisiana.http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/the-real-reason-red-states-wont-expand-medicaid/?hp&rref=opinion