The Bottom Line: Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska

Rural Health
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On April 1, 2015, Dr. Allan Jenkins, Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and Dr. Ron Konecny, Professor of Management at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, released "Nebraska Medicaid Expansion: Protecting a Critical Infrastructure, Supporting Main Street, Improving Worker Health and Productivity" (henceforth referred to as the “UNK Report”). The UNK Report is an extensive benefit-cost analysis of several factors that should be considered in the debate on LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, and Medicaid expansion in Nebraska.

This brief is part of a series to examine findings of the UNK Report, their implication on LB 472, and their significance to rural Nebraska. It examines basic economic and income issues for all Nebraskans connected to expanding Medicaid.

Key findings

  • Evidence shows that states that have expanded Medicaid have witnessed substantially faster growth in healthcare jobs than those states that have not expanded.
  • Medicaid expansion will support 10,779 jobs in Nebraska in FY 2019-20, according to a recent University of Nebraska at Kearney study (see Introduction below).
  • Medicaid expansion is a significantly more cost-effective policy approach than non-expansion for employment creation. Each $46,572 increase in Medicaid spending creates one job – about 20 percent of the largest Nebraska Advantage Act cost per job figure.
  • Benefits and receipts from Medicaid expansion in Nebraska will far outpace General Fund costs for Fiscal Year 2015-16 through Fiscal Year 2019-20.
  • Medicaid expansion in Nebraska would bring about $69.3 million in General Fund savings for the 5-year period. Programs already funded through the state’s General Fund, would no longer be necessary if Medicaid were expanded.