By Mark Lisheron | Texas Watchdog
AUSTIN – With the unveiling Monday of a new report on the cost of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, we are confident we have now heard the last three words on the subject: Smart, Affordable and Fair.
The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured said pretty much the same thing in a lot more words with its study released back in November.
By affordable, the Kaiser Commission meant $1.03 trillion with the cooperation of all 50 states from this year through 2022.
The cost for Texas to be smart, affordable and fair is about $115 billion during the same decade, according to the new report by Billy Hamilton Consulting for Texas Impact, a grassroots religious nonprofit based in Austin.
This figure is considerably less than the $150 billion the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation estimated in its study, as much as $38 billion of it to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
What this flurry of studies is selling, particularly in states like Texas with recalcitrant political leaders, is that all this expanding isn’t just affordable but practically free. And by free these analysts mean paid for by the magic money machine in that far off land where all dreams come true: Washington, D.C.
Of that trillion in the Kaiser study, why, only $76 billion would come from the states. And of the $115 billion only $15 billion would come from Texans, according to the Hamilton study.
What’s more, in the best tradition of John Maynard Keynes, all this free federal money will multiply itself in a direct and indirect boon to the Texas economy, $27.5 billion yielding $67.9 billion during the fiscal years 2014 through 2017, the study says.
Should you like to believe all that we’ve said here about the money being free and multiplying like fishes and loaves, feel free to ignore those marginalized cranks like this one suggesting all of Medicaid is paid for by taxpayers.
Next thing these folks will have you believing is that we are running a national debt of $16 trillion.