Wyoming Liberty Group
If the proponents of Medicaid Expansion get what they want, and if the SHARE Plan developed by the Wyoming Department of Health is enacted, we can - the report says - expect approximately 17,600 Wyomingites to enroll at an annual cost of $110 million.
One of the biggest problems with tax-paid, government-provided entitlements is that government makes promises without a credible source of funding. The universal approach to entitlements is that legislators identify a problem, assume government is the best vehicle for a solution, then craft a bill, pass it into law and go home to their voters and tell of their hard work and what they have accomplished.
Yesterday I explained the flaws in the economic analysis in the SHARE report for Medicaid Expansion that the Wyoming Department of Health published in November. I focused on the apparent misunderstanding of the GDP concept. However, there is one more component in that economic analysis that raises serious questions about the integrity of their work. Here is how I summarized it yesterday:
Another important question has to do with the cost of Medicaid Expansion vs. the calculated increase in GDP. According to the SHARE report, Medicaid Expansion means $100-120 million in new government spending in Wyoming. But the increase in GDP is only $56.4 million. What happens to the remaining $43.6 million? The discrepancy between increased government spending and increased GDP can be explained in either of three ways: strict insurance payments, monumental government waste or the so called "Norman Gap". Which one is it?
You are likely to hear two arguments — myths, really — favored by Medicaid expansion advocates. The first is that Medicaid expansion will save our Wyoming hospitals; the second is that all enrollees will have their health needs met.
As for our hospitals, is true that the discounted “100% reimbursement” promised by the federal government for an estimated 17,600 new able-bodied enrollees (but not for current enrollees), combined with an expected surge in usage, particularly of emergency facilities, would bring an infusion of cash. But such reimbursements, even adding the tempting new Medicaid enrollee federal version, are not sufficient to sustain our hospitals over time.
In November the Wyoming Department of Health released a report called "The SHARE Plan" in support of Medicaid expansion. The plan was presented to the Labor and Health Committee in December; it met some resistance there, but it is still possible that it will end up before the entire legislature.
It was painful to sit in December’s Labor Committee meeting and listen to the Department of Health and others advocate for Medicaid expansion. This is such a terrible idea in so many ways that it is hard to know where to begin explaining what is wrong with it.
We get help from Gillette’s Doctor John Mansell, who is on the front lines treating patients now on Medicaid. I attach the testimony he sent to the Committee so you can get this information first hand.
When Wyoming legislators consider whether or not to expand Medicaid, the last thing they have on their mind is probably German treasury bonds.
That would be entirely understandable. After all, what connection could there possibly be between the German government's borrowing habits and the provision of tax-paid health insurance in Wyoming?