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Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor Says Medicaid Expansion A Net Good for California

by: Brian Leubitz

Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 18:50:49 PM PST

Several Republican governors have already rejected medicaid expansion

by Brian Leubitz

There was never any real whiff of news that Governor Brown would consider opposing the federally supported medicaid expansion, but in recent months he has been explicit about that support. Now he has some support from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's office

Legislative analyst Mac Taylor urged lawmakers to adopt an optional Medicaid expansion that features an enhanced cost match from the federal government, meaning Uncle Sam will pick up most of the tab and send billions of dollars flowing into the state.

Taylor says the additional money can be used improve health care in California even though the state will take on additional costs down the road. The report estimated that by taking on new enrollees, the state could be on the hook for between $300 million and $1.3 billion a year starting in 2020.

Gov. Jerry Brown has committed to expanding Medicaid, known as Medi-Cal in California, for people who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $15,400 a year for an individual. The analyst estimated the expansion will bring 1.2 million new enrollees by 2017.(Judy Lin/AP)

The decision to go ahead with the expansion means millions of Californians won't have to worry what will happen if they get sick. Whether they can afford to have even the most basic preventative care that can head off major illness.

Not to pick on Governor Perry, but his decision to reject the expansion in Texas means that there is little relief on the way for the nation's highest rate of uninsured. It seems a rough lot for such a big decision in an individual's life to lie in the hands of a distant governor.

But there it is, and the LAO now says that the basic numbers behind the plan make sense for California. Good for California, not so good for Texas.

Brian Leubitz :: Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor Says Medicaid Expansion A Net Good for California
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