For modest-income families in Nebraska expanding Medicaid is a no-brainer. Not only does it provide access to needed health insurance and health care, it provides a host of positive economic benefits.
According to a recent report from Dr. Allan Jenkins and Dr. Ron Konecny of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, expanding Medicaid in Nebraska would result in an increase of $1,100 in discretionary income per enrollee in an expanded Medicaid program, or a total of $88 million statewide.
Economic research has shown that people in lower income groups spend their discretionary income, generally with local businesses. The UNK report finds that this increase in discretionary income results statewide in the creation of 800 jobs, creation of $32 million in additional income, and generation of $4.9 million in state and local tax revenue. This benefits our Main Street businesses, especially in rural Nebraska.
Medical expenses and medical debt are also a primary contributor to personal bankruptcies. The UNK report finds that 195 bankruptcies would have been averted in 2013 had Nebraska expanded its Medicaid program.
The positive benefits of Medicaid expansion flow throughout the Nebraska economy, making it a policy winner for the state and those who would benefit from the health insurance coverage offered by it. Nebraska policymakers must act on expanding its Medicaid program or leave all these positive benefits unrealized.
See our report Saving Families from the Financial Ledge: Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska at www.cfra.org.
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