June 26, 2015

Hospitals claim state taxpayers need to spend $3 billion on ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion so hospitals will be profitable enough to stay open.

But Moody’s debt analysts find hospitals are not more profitable in states expanding Medicaid than hospitals in states that haven’t. “Not-for-profit and public hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act did not on average have larger increases in their 2014 operating margins than such hospitals in non-expansion states, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service, the Wall Street Journal reports (Weaver, Wall Street Journal, 6/3).”

The analyst said “Clearly, reducing bad debt is positive, but it is not this silver bullet.” He said the findings of the report call into question “a narrative out there that Medicaid expansion has lowered bad debt and that is driving [financial] improvements at hospitals” (Wall Street Journal, 6/3).

In the fourth quarter of 2014, hospitals in non-expansion states had higher average increases in operating margins — at 1.3 percentage points — than hospitals in expansion states, which experienced average operating margin increases of about 0.9 percentage points (Modern Healthcare, 6/3).” (CA Healthline)

Like any business, hospital profitability depends on a strong economy.

And blowing up the budget to give free government health insurance to single, childless, able bodied adults who don’t work isn’t going to help our economy.

Medicaid expansion won’t help vulnerable people either like the elderly, blind or disabled. They are already covered by Medicaid.

Medicaid expansion is about benefits for single, able bodied people who can help themselves. Adding them to the rolls will just squeeze the resources we need to help the truly needy who can’t help themselves.