Medicaid experts question wisdom of expansion

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MEDICAID: Is expanding the troubled program the best option for Florida?

As the Florida Legislature advances past its 60-day midpoint, calls for expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are growing louder.

The cries, however, seem to be falling on deaf legislative ears.

Hundreds of thousands of Floridians are caught in-between Medicaid’s current eligibility criteria and the new private coverage options available through Florida’s subsidized Obamacare exchange.

Expansion advocates want Florida to take $51 billion in federal aid, strings and all.

Opponents, like House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, are often portrayed as cruel and ideological.

Amid the furor, a new book published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University offers an in-depth look at the government program that suggests an expansion of Medicaid, rather than reform, may not be the best policy choice for states like Florida.

“Medicaid — already the largest health insurance provider in the United States — is projected to grow significantly under the Affordable Care Act, or ‘Obamacare.’ Federal spending on the program is projected to double over the next decade. For states, Medicaid’s rapid growth threatens to crowd out other spending priorities,” reads a press statement.

The book collects nine essays from experts discussing the escalating costs and consequences of a program that Mercatus argues “provides second-class health care at first-class costs.”

“The Economics of Medicaid: Assessing the Costs and Consequences” can be downloaded for free Tuesday at www.economicsofmedicaid.com.

Contact William Patrick at [email protected]

Published with permission from Watchdog.org.

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