Under ObamaCare, states have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to include a new class of able-bodied adults. For years, hospital lobbyists and ObamaCare advocates have tried to persuade lawmakers with claims that Medicaid expansion will be an economic boon for states, often with little pushback. But six full years after the program’s launch in most expansion states, data now shows these claims are overstated at best.
Unfortunately, for those states that took the bait and expanded their Medicaid programs, these promises never came true. Promised jobs have not materialized. Not only that, but states that did expand Medicaid saw fewer hospital jobs created in the time after expanding compared to those states that did not. Some states that expanded Medicaid even lost jobs. Moreover, Medicaid expansion’s impact on hospital health has been minimal to nonexistent. Indeed, Medicaid expansion may have actually produced negative outcomes for hospital financial health.
Despite all of the claims made by supporters of Medicaid expansion, the fact remains: Medicaid expansion is not a catalyst for job creation or hospital health. Lawmakers in states that have not expanded Medicaid should be wary of claims that Medicaid expansion will bring massive economic benefits, as many states have found that these promises rang hollow.