Anne Swerlick
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October 8, 2019

Time to Expand Medicaid: The Numbers Speak for Themselves

A recent report from the Commonwealth Fund adds to growing evidence that Florida's failure to expand Medicaid is an irrational fiscal policy choice. The report provides a five-year forecast (2020-2024) of enrollment and budget implications. If Medicaid is expanded, the report estimates that by 2024:

  • 837,514 Floridians would become eligible and enrolled;
  • $14.3 billion new federal dollars would flow into the state; and
  • Florida would see $385 million in net state savings.

According to the report, savings would be generated through:

  • currently eligible Medicaid beneficiaries, like pregnant women and adults with disabilities, converting into the new expansion group. The state would then collect the enhanced federal match for these beneficiaries (90 percent match versus the current 61.5 percent match); and
  • replacement of state dollars with new federal dollars for services such as behavioral health, corrections and uncompensated care.  

Over the five-year period, although additional Medicaid costs of $516 million are projected, these costs would be more than offset by nearly $1 billion in savings in other parts of the budget.

Commonwealth Fund concludes that Medicaid expansion would not be a budget buster. Instead, it would result in significant savings and fiscal gains far exceeding the costs of expansion. The numbers speak for themselves.