DHS Analysis Supports Medicaid Expansion, GOP Leaders Leery

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 22 views 

On Tuesday (July 17), Arkansas Department of Human Services officials released a report purporting the state would come out ahead if it opts into the controversial Medicaid expansion.

DHS officials said that adding 250,000 uninsured Arkansans to the state Medicaid rolls via the federal health care law would result in a $372 million savings for the state from 2014 through 2021.

John Lyon with our content partner, the Arkansas News Bureau, reports:

DHS’ new analysis is based on the projection that expanding the program in Arkansas would add 250,000 people to the Medicaid rolls, a projection that Director John Selig said is intentionally overestimated for the sake of caution.

The health care law will take full effect in 2014, with the federal government paying 100 percent of the cost of the expansion. In fiscal 2015, the first full fiscal year after the law takes effect, DHS estimated the savings to the state at $89 million.

Selig said the savings would result from three things:

  • An increase in the federal matching rate f

    or the ARKids First children’s health insurance program

  • State income taxes on the increased federal Medicaid funding coming into the state
  • A reduction in the amount of money the state spends each year on uncompensated care

You can read more at this link, including skepticism from GOP legislators who have expressed concern about a possible expansion of Medicaid.

For readers wanting to review the number-crunching done by DHS, here is an Excel spreadsheet file and here is a Word doc summary.

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