Expanding Medicaid is the morally and fiscally right thing to do
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the health reform law, states are beginning to look at ways to consider how and to what extent they will comply with its implementation. The expansion of the Medicaid program up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line — $14,856 a year for an individual, $30,656 a year for a four-person household — will be one of the most crucial ways for states to ensure the law benefits as many as half of the legally uninsured in the U.S.
In an Albuquerque Journal news article, New Mexico Voices for Children argued that expanding Medicaid eligibility would not only be the right move for low-income children and families, but also the prudent move economically for those concerned with how to pay for it in the state’s budget.
Since the federal government would pay $6 billion of New Mexico’s cost to expand Medicaid between 2014 and 2020, New Mexico Voices for Children claimed that jobs would be created for more health care industry workers who would spend their incomes in local stores and buy services from local vendors. In turn, that spending would create more private-sector jobs. All of those employed people pay taxes, potentially generating more revenue for the state than the $500 million cost for New Mexico to expand Medicaid over the same time period.