No, Kansas City Star, The Legislature Should NOT Expand Medicaid
I guess all of the big battles are the ones that are fought over and over again. In “A good year to beat low expectations in the Missouri Legislature,” the Kansas City Star editorial board renewed its call for the legislature to expand Medicaid. I could not possibly disagree with the Star more. There is growing evidence that expanding Medicaid will not improve people’s health and will stick taxpayers with even more bills to pay.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people on Medicaid fared worse health-wise than people with no insurance. This study joins others from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Virginia that found that health outcomes for Medicaid patients are worse than those without health insurance.
Nor will expanding Medicaid clear up congested emergency rooms. A recent study published in Science found that after Medicaid expanded in Oregon, emergency room visits increased 40 percent. The vast majority of these visits were for procedures that could have been taken care of outside a hospital.
If it expanded Medicaid, the legislature would add billions of dollars in expenditures to a state that cannot afford it while doing little to actually improve people’s lives. It should ignore the Star’s appeals and say “no” to expanding Medicaid.