March 16, 2015

In an internet interview about federal money for Medicaid expansion, Senator Josh Stein lamented ”we’re letting that money be spent in other states.” (Policy Watch)

He should read a new Congressional Research Service report that explains states turning down Medicaid expansion money are not sending money to other states. According to CRS, “If a state doesn’t implement the ACA Medicaid expansion, the federal funds that would have been used for that state’s expansion are not being sent to another state. There is not a set amount of federal funding for Medicaid. Each state gets the federal funding necessary for their Medicaid program.” (CRS)

And a commentary in Forbes notes that every dollar states don’t take for Medicaid expansion is a dollar that isn’t spent and a dollar Washington doesn’t have to borrow. Turning down Medicaid expansion means North Carolina taxpayers don’t need to come up with $3 billion to match the new federal Medicaid money and the federal deficit will be lower because Washington won’t have to borrow the money that won’t be spent at all. (Forbes)

So when a politician says we are sending money to other states, it’s a political claim unsupported by the facts.