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March 9, 2016

Dispelling Misinformation About Kentucky Medicaid

Opponents of closing Virginia’s coverage gap are turning to Kentucky to try to make the case that Virginia can’t afford to be a state where more people have health insurance. They’re wrong. Kentucky continues to save more from closing its gap than it costs the state for the new coverage.

The most recent estimates for the next two years of new coverage in Kentucky top $211 million. But wait – the Bluegrass State also has $265 million in savings from using federal funds for the new coverage, eliminating the need to use state dollars for other health care safety net programs. On net, that means Kentucky is saving $54 million by covering more people.

Put another way, Kentucky would have to pay more to cover fewer people – like Virginia has been doing and will continue to do until lawmakers close the coverage gap here.

Closing the coverage gap is the common-sense choice from every angle. By expanding Medicaid, Virginia lawmakers could cover more of their constituents, save the state money, and support thousands of jobs – just like Kentucky.

–Massey Whorley, Senior Policy Analyst

Update 3/14/16: On March 14 the
Bureau of Labor Statistics released revised numbers for health care and social
assistance jobs, including
large changes to Kentucky’s and Virginia’s jobs numbers in that sector. We have
removed the sections of this post that refer to the outdated data.

The Commonwealth Institute

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