The full cost-benefit report on Utah expanding Medicaid is out. And the Salt Lake Tribune has a thorough breakdown of key details. One big takeaway sure to challenge the political narrative we've heard from state lawmakers so far:
Both full expansion and no expansion scenarios project a boost to Utah's economy, including the creation of new jobs. Without expansion the projected economic benefit is about $516 million. A $2.9 billion economic lift,and 4,160 new jobs, are projected under full expansion.For advocates, the projected 123k+ insured is enough. But with projected economic benefits like $2.9b in economic growth, those lawmakers focused only on bottom lines and price tags will have a much harder time justifying their opposition.
Lincoln Nehring of Voices for Utah Children is quoted saying now that the state can't say we can't afford it, this is a question of values. Can lawmakers and Governor Herbert put more insured Utahns at a higher priority than the politics of insisting Obamacare is the worst thing ever to happen in the history of things that happened while a Democrat was in the White House? And also: Death Panels!
We'll see. All I can predict with certainty is that Rep. Anderegg's inevitable passionate speech in opposition to all this math will be priceless.