When I wrote Healthcare Battle Continues on Monday, little did I know the assault on our collective pocket books would begin the same week!
Governor Nixon and his co-conspirators in expanding government and government spending will be out and about this week spreading word about job creation by government through more government spending. We know that has worked so well in the past!
They will be waiving about a study done by the University of Missouri and a Virginia company (Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC) purporting the creation of over 24,000 jobs if only the state will agree to spend just a few hundred million more dollars a year to expand Medicaid. The problem is that these studies have notoriously been wildly over optimistic and never quite seem to live up to their projections. No one should have any confidence that 24,000 jobs will be created by spending more money on expanding Medicaid. It is simply a ruse to get those who aren’t paying attention to say “yes, that’s like ‘free’ money – we should do that!”
We heard the reverse of these projections in 2005 when we reformed Medicaid taking the eligibility rate from 133% – the level the expansion would take the state to is 138% – down to the federal minimums that are in place today. According to some of these same ‘players’ the world was going to come to an end, people would be dying in the gutters and Missouri would be devastated. NONE of that ever happened. Just like 24,000 jobs WILL NOT be created by spending more money.
Here’s a for sure clue that it’s an over exaggeration, ““Expansion will not cost the state,” Kuhn said.” (editor note: Kuhn is President and CEO of Missouri Hospital Association) History and experience demonstrates that the old adage of ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’ certainly applies in this case!
One of the co-conspirators in this effort is the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA). You may remember that MHA spent around $400,000 trying to get people to vote NO on Proposition C in 2010. Just as the money they want taxpayers to pony up on Medicaid expansion, their money was not well spent when Missourians rejected their call overwhelmingly!
In an attempt to reach out and work together, I offer this proposal. If the legislature actually deems it necessary to expand Medicaid they should require that all the co-conspirators post some sort of bond that would cover the amount of taxes the state is expected to collect every year as a result of the expansion. If the study is accurate, then the bond would not be redeemed for that year. If the state did not collect the tax revenues projected in the study, then the bond would be redeemed for that year and every year that the state did not collect the projected revenues.
MHA, Missouri Primary Care Association, Missouri Foundation for Health, University of Missouri, Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC and anyone else who is “selling” the snake oil should be willing to step up and put their money where their mouth is. After all, they are asking the taxpayer to put up their hard earned money to do it!