NEWS: Medicaid Expansion Repeal Would Eliminate 3,700 Jobs Without Saving a Dime

New Study Quantifies Positive Economic Impact of Expansion; Expansion Has Zero Net Cost to State Coffers

Juneau – New data from the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), featured at a recent House of Representatives informational hearing, demonstrates that a repeal of Medicaid Expansion in Alaska would result in 3,700 lost jobs, $267 million in lost wages, and $556 million in lost economic output. ANTHC’s new study finds that Medicaid Expansion has been budget neutral for the State of Alaska’s general fund. Additionally, Medicaid Expansion has attracted $1.13 billion in federal investment in Alaska.

“Medicaid Expansion has brought thousands of jobs and over a billion dollars in federal revenue at zero net cost to Alaska’s General Fund. Clearly, this program is a winner for Alaska’s economy and state budget,” said Rep. Zack Fields (D-Anchorage).

On Wednesday, Jerry Moses from ANTHC, Doneg McDonough from Health Systems Analytics, and Becky Hultberg from ASHNA presented information about Medicaid Expansion in Alaska. 46,124 Alaskans enrolled under the Medicaid expansion program through November of last year. While Federal Contribution Rates (FMAP) differ by program and expenditure, from SFY 2016 through SFY 2019, FMAP rates ranged from 100 percent federally funded in 2016 to 95.8 percent federally funded in 2019. The average federal contribution rate over all three years was 97.3 percent. During that same time frame, $1.13 billion in federal funds were secured for Medicaid in the State of Alaska through an investment of $42.3 million from the state. For each state dollar spent, the federal government matched $26.7 million in federal funds. In turn, the $1.13 billion in federal revenues generated a more than $2 billion boost in economic output for the State’s economy, funding thousands of permanent in-state jobs, and millions of dollars in increased earnings.

“Research has shown that Medicaid Expansion is good for the health of Alaskans and our economy. Expansion has improved healthcare access for working Alaskans who live just above the poverty line, while also investing in a renewable industry in our state. We must recognize and protect the value this program has brought to the health and well-being of our residents as well as our economy,” said Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel).

“Ending Medicaid expansion in Alaska would result in thousands of lost jobs, which would prevent our economy from emerging from the recession this year. In fact, such an irresponsible move by the Governor would likely lengthen the recession through at least next year,” said Rep. Fields. “If the State were to terminate Medicaid Expansion, the recent gains in health insurance coverage would be lost, and we would also lose billions in federal funding. Most concerning is that the State of Alaska would have to increase spending in order to maintain the same service levels that currently exist under Medicaid expansion.”

For more information, please contact Tristan Walsh in Rep. Fields office at (907) 465-2647.