4 myths you've been hearing about Medicaid

As Medicaid Expansion jets towards an expected vote on Friday, there are several myths being reported by expansion opponents. Healthy Wyoming took some time to debunk a few of the myths this week. Among them are: *Myth: The federal government will go on its promise to pay 90 percent of expansion dollars once it gets the states onboard with expansion.* *Fact: * It would take an act of congress to make that change and since better than half of the country has already accepted expansion, it would be a very unpopular vote and one that could cripple state health systems making it very unlikely. It is also possible for Wyoming to build an escape clause into any expansion law, which would let the state withdraw from Medicaid without penalty if congress ever went back on its promise. *Myth: Medicaid expansion would negatively impact the private insurance companies and insurance environment of Wyoming.* *Fact: * Conversations with State Insurance Commissioner Tom Glause, as well as Blue Cross/Blue Shield management suggest the insurance climate in Wyoming is stable and would not be negatively impacted by expansion. Blue Cross representatives also report there would be no negative impact to their firm due to Medicaid expansion. *Myth: Medicaid expansion wouldn’t really help the state’s hospitals, some of whom are struggling to stay open.* *Fact: *Everyone who walks into the emergency department of a hospital in Wyoming is treated regardless of their ability to pay the hospital. The money they owe and don’t pay is called uncompensated care and is paid for by counties or the state. Last year the state’s hospitals gave around $110 million in uncompensated care. Many of those who weren’t able to pay for healthcare at a hospital would be eligible for Medicaid if it were expanded in Wyoming. *Myth: States that embrace Medicaid expansion have gone on to regret it.* *Fact:* In most states, expansion has led to increased access to primary care physicians and lowered medical costs. In *Washington State*, which has expanded Medicaid, uncompensated care costs have dropped by almost half. Expanding Medicaid saved *Arkansas* and *Kentucky* nearly $31 million and $26 million, respectively, in the first six months of 2014, according to a report prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In *Michigan*, expansion is increasing access to primary care. As of February 2015, more than half expansion enrollees had visited a primary care physician, and enrollees were participating in voluntary health risk assessment program at more than twice the rate of people in private plans. An updated analysis by the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) finds *New Mexico’s Medicaid expansion costs* are off set by increased revenue and economic gains. The program is projected to have a total surplus of more than $300 million between fiscal years 2014 and 2020. Please click here and fill out the form. In the top box please select SF0001 - General government appropriations. Fill out the rest of the form (don’t worry if you don't know who your legislators are, just leave these blank) and in the comments section be sure to write, "Please support Medicaid Expansion in the budget. All Wyoming citizens need access to affordable healthcare!." *This content has been paid for by Healthy Wyoming and is not to be construed as Pitchengine's opinion.* #county10 #oilcity #reboot #buckrail #shortgo #county17 #dally #springcity #news #sponsored #health #healthywyo