Expanding Medicaid: Gov.-elect Wolf embraces a false premise |

Expanding Medicaid: Gov.-elect Wolf embraces a false premise

Democrat Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s insistence on full-blown ObamaCare Medicaid expansion is misguided advocacy for an idea that wouldn’t improve treatment or costs but would worsen this federal-state welfare program’s existing woes and Pennsylvania’s bottom line.

Medicaid fraud, already costing taxpayers an estimated $60 billion a year, would only grow with Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania. And Pennsylvanians gaining coverage would have a hard time gaining actual care. A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study released this month but done in 2013, before ObamaCare fully kicked in, found more than half of 1,800 primary care doctors weren’t offering appointments to Medicaid patients. That’s largely because of Medicaid’s low reimbursements.

Covering more than one in five Americans, Medicaid cost taxpayers nearly $460 million in fiscal year 2013. Under Medicaid expansion, Pennsylvania would spend more than it would otherwise. If federal cost-sharing promises aren’t kept, its taxpayers would be on the hook. Plus, The Heritage Foundation has found that spending will outpace any care-cost savings over time anyway.

Even the Obama White House admits “red” states rejecting Medicaid expansion have saved federal taxpayers $88 billion this year. With financially strapped Pennsylvania having other urgent needs to address, Mr. Wolf’s Medicaid expansion is not what the Keystone State needs.

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