Expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania would support 41,200 new jobs in 2016, according to a new report issued by the Pennsylvania Health Access Network and national health consumer organization Families USA.
The report assumes Pennsylvania expands Medicaid beginning in 2014 but focuses on 2016 because "it inevitably takes time for enrollment to reach a level that reveals the program's full economic impact."
According to a news release, the report is based on the general guidelines for Medicaid expansion under the reform law and assumes an additional $3.3 billion in federal Medicaid dollars would be spent on health care in Pennsylvania in 2016.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of expanding eligibility to 138 percent of the poverty level from 2014-16, then decrease to 90 percent by 2020. The full funding does not apply to those who are eligible for Medicaid under current standards but have not enrolled.
Expansion would result in an estimated 682,000 Pennsylvanians receiving access to care through Medicaid, the report said.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett did not include Medicaid expansion in his proposed budget released earlier this month, saying, "At this time, without serious reforms, it would be financially unsustainable for Pennsylvania taxpayers, and I cannot recommend a dramatic Medicaid expansion."
Corbett said expanding Medicaid would cost the state more than $4.1 billion through 2021.