Should Pennsylvania Expand Medicaid?

Medicaid Expansion Hearing
Health Committee
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

In June 2012, the Supreme Court made the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid optional for states. In my testimony, I will explain why it would be harmful to Pennsylvania and the nation were state officials to implement the expansion.

Key that I will make in my testimony include:

  • Expanding Medicaid would require Pennsylvania to increase taxes and/or reduce spending on education and other services by far more than initial projections suggest.
  • Refusing to expand Medicaid would reduce federal deficits and the federal debt, which are an implicit tax on future Pennsylvania taxpayers. A recent study estimated the states that have most forcefully rejected the expansion will reduce federal deficits by and debt by more than $8 billion per year.
  • The vast majority (84 percent) of those who would receive Medicaid coverage under the expansion already have private insurance today. Expansion could reduce their access to care and increase emergency-room use, with potential negative health consequences.
  • Medicaid may not even improve these enrollees’ health at all. A study of the most vulnerable people targeted by the expansion found “Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes.”
  • Expansion would reduce jobs, not increase them.
  • Expanding Medicaid means forcing Pennsylvania taxpayers to give even more of their income to Medicaid fraudsters.
  • The federal government has announced a plan to rescind the Medicaid “DSH” cuts that were leading many hospitals to argue for the expansion.
  • Expanding Medicaid would not eliminate discrimination against citizens nor eliminate penalties against employers. Alternative strategies are available that would completely eliminate both.
  • The expansion will be permanent. Automatic “sunset” provisions would be easily overridden. Some legal scholars warn the federal government could prevent states from leaving the expansion.
  • Covering the expansion populations through the state’s health insurance “exchange,” as Arkansas has proposed, would increase the expansion’s cost to both to the state and the federal government by 50 percent, and is likely unlawful.
  • Under NFIB v. Sebelius, Pennsylvania can refuse to implement all mandatory Medicaid provisions in the PPACA-including eligibility for all children below 138 percent of poverty, “maintenance of effort,” the “MAGI” income standard, and eligibility determinations for Exchanges-not just the newly eligible adult population.
  • A Tennessee-style “good Samaritan” law and medical malpractice liability reform would expand health care to the poor without costing Pennsylvania taxpayers anything.
  • Pennsylvania would have plenty of company if it chose not to participate. Twenty or more states are refusing to implement the Medicaid expansion.

Rather than burden taxpayers with this new expense, Pennsylvania should refuse to implement either the Medicaid expansion or a health insurance Exchange; join Maine in challenging HHS’s attempt to force states to implement parts of the expansion the Supreme Court rendered optional; join Oklahoma in challenging the IRS’s attempt to issue subsidies and impose taxes that Congress did not authorize; launch an Oregon-like study to measure Medicaid’s impact on existing populations; and enact “Good Samaritan” laws and medical malpractice liability reforms that expand access to care for the poor without imposing new burdens on taxpayers.


The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” of 2010 carries costs that far outweigh its benefits. The PPACA makes access to care less secure for millions of Americans, depresses economic activity, eliminates jobs, increases health care costs, increases the burden of government, and traps people in poverty. 2 It imposes $1.2 trillion in new taxes through 2022.3 According to one estimate, these taxes will reduce economic output by as much as $750 billion in just the first six years. 4

The PPACA commits taxpayers to pay for an estimated $1.6 trillion in new federal spending through 2023.5 Roughly half of this new spending consists of subsidies to private health insurance companies that will flow through new government agencies called health insurance “exchanges.” The balance comes from a 50 percent increase in the number of nonelderly Medicaid enrollees.6 This is money the federal government simply does not have.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the PPACA will eliminate roughly 800,000 jobs.7 The Federal Reserve recently reported, “Employers in several Districts cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”8 The law has already caused employers to cut hours for everything from waiters to college professors. Former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee predicts that even if overall hiring in the economy increases, the PPACA could cause overall hours worked to fall,9 while former advisor Jared Bernstein admitted, “I’m a little nervous about that [Federal Reserve report]… I think there’s something to it… I’ve got a news flash for you. The Affordable Care Act is not a jobs program.”10

Congress and President Obama have already repealed one of the PPACA’s three new entitlement programs — the Community Living: Assistance Services and Supports Act, or CLASS Act11-as well as other provisions of the law. 12 Repealing the remaining provisions of the PPACA is essential to making health care better, more affordable, and more secure, as well as making the federal government live within its means. A union that formerly supported the PPACA, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, has reversed its position and is now calling for the law’s repeal. 13

The Role of States in the PPACA

The PPACA relies on states to implement the Exchanges and Medicaid expansion.14 Each provision would impose significant costs on the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is under no obligation to implement either. Between the two, the Medicaid expansion would cost the state far more.15 Whether to implement the expansion may be the most important decision facing Pennsylvania officials.

Somewhat ironically, the PPACA gives Pennsylvania officials considerable power to shape how the Act operates, but only if state officials refuse to implement these provisions. Implementing either an Exchange or the Medicaid expansion cedes more control over the state’s health care sector and destiny to the federal government. If Pennsylvania officials wish to reassert control over their health care sector, they must refuse to implement these provisions

The Unknowable Cost of Medicaid Expansion

Under the PPACA, Pennsylvania has the option of expanding its Medicaid program to cover all citizens and legal immigrants below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The federal government will cover 100 percent of one category of spending (i.e., claims) for one category of enrollees (newly eligible adults), for the first three years. Pennsylvania would be responsible for funding the administrative costs, plus the cost of covering newly eligible children, plus the cost of any already-eligible new enrollees at the state’s current matching rate (roughly 54 percent). 16

Beginning in 2017, Pennsylvania would also begin to pick up a larger share of the cost of claims for newly eligible adults. That share would rise to 10 percent by 2019. According to one news report, “States will receive more than $9 in federal money for every $1 they spend to cover low-income residents under” the expansion.17 This offer stands, as one observer puts it, in “theoretical perpetuity.” 18

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute project Pennsylvania’s share would total a considerable $4 billion over 10 years.19 Economist Jagadeesh Gokhale is a leader in his field and a member of the Social Security Administration’s advisory board, meaning means that when Social Security wants to know how to make these sorts of projections, they come to him. Gokhale more realistically projects the expansion will cost up to 45 percent more than the Kaiser/Urban estimates/20 which suggests the expansion, under current law, would cost the state of Pennsylvania as much as $5.8 billion.

The actual cost is likely to be much higher, for two reasons.

First, actual enrollment and spending in government health programs typically far surpasses initial projections. Congress’ Joint Economic Committee notes, “In 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee predicted that the new Medicare program, launched the previous year, would cost about $12 billion in 1990.” Instead, “Actual Medicare spending in 1990 was $110 billion-off by nearly a factor of 10.”21 Jonathan Ingram of the Foundation for Government Accountability reports that when Arizona expanded its Medicaid program in 2002, actual enrollment reached nearly three times the projected level, while spending quadrupled initial projections.22 In just one year, the actual cost to the federal government of establishing state-run Exchanges more than doubled the projected cost, from $2 billion to $4.4 billion?23 Over the long term, such programs always expand and are never eliminated or pared back in any significant way.

Second, the federal government is likely to renege on the initial 9-to-1 match-because it must. The federal debt stands at $12 trillion, or 75 percent of gross domestic product. In 2013, the federal government will run a projected $642 billion deficit.24 Under current law, annual deficits could cause the federal debt will grow to $19 trillion by 2023. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

Along such a path, federal debt held by the public will equal a greater percentage of GDP than in any year between 1951 and 2012 and will be far above the average of 39 percent over the 1973-2012 period. Moreover, it will be on an upward trend by the end of the decade. Debt that is high by historical standards and heading higher will have significant consequences for the budget and the economy… The nation’s net interest costs will be very high… [and] will require the government to raise taxes, reduce benefits and services, or undertake some combination of those two actions. National saving will be held down…which in turn will decrease income in the United States…The likelihood of a fiscal crisis will be higher…Those consequences would be exacerbated if federal debt exceeded the amounts projected in CBO’s baseline, as it would if certain deficit-reducing policies that are scheduled to take effect were instead reversed without being replaced by other policies with similar budgetary effects. 25

Since Congress tends to reverse spending cuts or tax increases before they take effect, the CBO also makes the more realistic projection that if current policies continue, federal debt will grow to $28 trillion by 2023, or 83 percent of GDP.26

It is unrealistic to assume the federal government will maintain the Medicaid expansion’s 9-to-1 matching rate. House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has told governors and state legislators, “The fastest thing that’s going to go when we’re cutting spending in Washington is a 100-or 90-percent match rate for Medicaid. There’s no way. It doesn’t matter if Republicans are running Congress or Democrats are running Congress. There’s no way we’re going to keep those match rates like that. “27 Indeed, President Obama proposed reneging on that commitment in two consecutive budget proposals?28 Republicans in both the House and Senate have introduced legislation to eliminate the enhanced matching grant formula. 29 When Congress reneges on that commitment, the Medicaid expansion will cost Pennsylvania even more than the direst projections.

Pennsylvania currently spends about $6.5 billion per year to cover 2.2 million residents through Medicaid. 30 Under the Medicaid expansion, each of those numbers would rise dramatically and continue to climb.

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley summarized the situation: “The federal government likes to wave around a nine dollar match like it is some silver bullet, some extraordinary benefit that we cannot pass up. But what good do the nine dollars do us when we can’t come up with the one? And what good are any dollars when they come through a program that doesn’t allow us the flexibility to make the decisions that are in the best interest of the people?”31

Pennsylvania Officials Can Reduce Federal Deficits, Debt

Implementing the expansion would not only increase state spending. It would increase federal spending as well. But states can reduce federal spending, deficits, and debt by rejecting the expansion.

Shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling, the CBO estimated that the handful of states that would refuse to expand Medicaid have reduced federal deficits by $84 billion. 32 One study estimates that just 14 states will reduce federal deficit spending by $8 billion per year by refusing the expansion. 33

More Medicaid, More Fraud

Expanding Medicaid means forcing Pennsylvania taxpayers to give even more of their income to Medicaid fraudsters. The amount of fraud in Medicaid is stunning even by government standards.34 In one example, a Brooklyn dentist billed taxpayers for nearly 1,000 procedures in a single day. 35 Rampant fraud has led the Government Accountability Office to designate Medicaid as a “high-risk” program for the past decade. 36 Official estimates suggest Medicaid loses tens of billions of dollars to fraud annually-but experts deride those estimates as “comfortingly low and quite misleading.”37

Crowding Out Private Coverage

The expansion would spends scarce state resources on people who already have private insurance. A recent study by PPACA supporters projected “high rates of crowd-out for Medicaid expansions aimed at working adults (82%), suggesting that the Medicaid expansion provisions of PPACA will shift workers and their families from private to public insurance without reducing the number of uninsured very much.”38 Medicaid expansions in Arizona, Delaware, Maine, and Oregon did not reduce those states’ uninsured rates at all, though they were accompanied by declines in private coverage. 39 The expansion is neither a wise or well-targeted use of taxpayer dollars.

Worse Access to Care

When Medicaid crowds out private health insurance, it often leaves patients with less secure access to care. Nationwide, roughly one third of physicians refuse to accept new Medicaid patients.40 According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Only about 20 percent of the nation’s 179,000 practicing dentists accept Medicaid.”41 In states like Maryland, the number is one in six. 42

According to the Annals of Emergency Medicine, Medicaid patients are twice as likely to experience barriers to primary care as privately insured patients. The authors conclude, “Expansion of Medicaid eligibility alone may not be sufficient to improve health care access.”43

Medicaid Expansion Likely to Increase Emergency-Room Use

Implementing the expansion could lead to increased emergency-room use, because Medicaid’s poor access to primary care leads enrollees often turn to emergency departments. As one emergency-room physician recently explained in The Washington Post:

In our hospital, about one in 10 patients with Medicaid is a frequent visitor to the emergency department because many physicians don’t accept that insurance. Trying to understand the inability of patients with insurance to see primary-care providers, I called three local clinics, pretending to be a patient with Medicaid, and tried to make an appointment. The soonest I could see a primary-care doctor was two months. Primary care physicians who accept Medicaid insurance are overwhelmed with patients… 44

It is little surprise, then, that the above-mentioned Annals study found Medicaid patients are twice as likely as those with private insurance to use the emergency room as a source of primary care.

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that emergency rooms “are increasingly serving as the safety net for medically under-served patients, particularly adults with Medicaid.” The authors of that study found, “Adults with Medicaid accounted for most of the increase in ED visits” between 1997 and 2007, which was “almost double of what would be expected from population growth.” Indeed, adult Medicaid patients are three times more likely than the uninsured, and seven times more than patients with private insurance (which the expansion would crowd out), to use an emergency room for conditions that could have been addressed with primary care. 46

When Maine expanded its Medicaid program to cover childless adults, as the PPACA’s Medicaid expansion would do, uncompensated charity care by hospitals did not fall. It grew at an accelerated rate, increasing five fold.47

Tragic Consequences

One Medicaid enrollee who turned to an emergency room when he couldn’t find primary care was a 12-year-old Maryland boy named Deamonte Driver. In 2007, Deamonte was suffering from a toothache, caused by an abscess. His mother struggled in vain to find a dentist who would accept the family’s Medicaid coverage. According to one account, “the Public Justice Center in Baltimore…made dozens of calls” on the family’s behalf to find a dentist who would accept the family’s Medicaid coverage.48 Since only one in six Maryland dentists accepts Medicaid, the Washington Post reported, “By the time Deamonte’s own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain… After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George’s County boy died.”49

“A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him,” the Post concluded. “If Medicaid dentists weren’t so hard to find.”50

Would Expanding Medicaid Improve Health?

The expansion may not even improve the new enrollees’ health at all. A monumental study in the New England Journal of Medicine found Medicaid had no discernible effect on measured physical health outcomes of enrollees. Supporters of the Medicaid expansion thus have no reliable evidence to show that it would improve enrollees’ health at all, much less that it would deliver the largest gains in health per dollar spent.

Medicaid’s effect on the health of enrollees is theoretically ambiguous. On the one hand, it will spend $460 billion this year purchasing medical and long-term care services for more than 50 million people. 51 It would be difficult to spend nearly halfa trillion dollars on medical care without improving some people’s health.

Yet Medicaid also has many effects that might negatively impact enrollees’ health. The taxes that fund Medicaid-including both sales and income taxes-directly inhibit low-income families’ ability to afford food, clothing, housing, and higher-quality educational options, all of which contribute to health. That tax burden also reduces incomes indirectly by decreasing economic activity and opportunity, making it more difficult for low-income workers to become self-sufficient. Medicaid further provides powerful disincentives to climb the economic ladder. If enrollees increase their earnings, they might lose thousands of dollars worth of subsidies.52 Medicaid also increases the cost of private insurance at the same time it lures people out of private insurance. 53

One would hope that before state and federal governments would spend $460 billion per year on a program like Medicaid, they would establish whether this expenditure will improve health and whether it will achieve the greatest health improvements per dollar spent. Yet no one bothered to measure Medicaid’s effect on the health of enrollees until Oregon began a monumental new study in 2008 — 42 years and $9 trillion after the program’s inception. Indeed, Congress debated the PPACA’s Medicaid expansion in 2009, and enacted it 2010, without even waiting until the first batch of results from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment became available in 2011.54

In 2008, the state of Oregon launched what was essentially an ObamaCare field test. The state distributed Medicaid slots via lottery to thousands of able-bodied Oregon adults earning below 100 percent of the federal poverty level-in other words, the most vulnerable group targeted by the PPACA’s Medicaid expansion. Economists then collected data on the lottery winners and losers. The random assignment of subjects makes the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment the first and only reliable study ever conducted on the health effects of Medicaid.

Congress should have waited for the results.

In 2013, Oregon Health Insurance Experiment researchers reported, “Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes” for poor adults.55 Medicaid increased per-person medical spending from $3,300 to $4,400. But after two years, Medicaid produced no discernible improvement in enrollees’ blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, or risk of heart attacks. The program should have had an immediate impact on these important and treatable health measures, especially among the poor. Medicaid’s failure to do so casts doubt whether the additional $1,100 of medical care it makes available to enrollees improves their health in other areas, or over the long term. (It also casts doubt on whether the PPACA’s subsidies for higher-income individuals will improve health, since subsidies are less likely to improve health for people with higher baseline access to care.)

The results stunned and embarrassed supporters of the PPACA, who had portrayed Medicaid expansion as a matter of life and death, particularly for the poor. 56 Some complained the sample size was too small; but that’s just another way of saying the disease burden among the expansion group is not as great as supporters have portrayed it. Others stressed the findings that Medicaid reduced depression and financial strain. Though the effect on depression is unambiguously beneficial, it is unclear whether reducing the financial strain imposed by medical bills should be an indicator of success for a program like Medicaid. If Medicaid has no impact on health, taxpayers and policymakers might prefer that the uninsured experience financial strain when they need expensive medical care. That risk might prod people to purchase insurance and thus reduce the number of people who experience financial strain.

Supporters of the Medicaid expansion have an obligation to show the $1 trillion the PPACA would spend on new health care entitlements will actually improve the health of enrollees. They cannot meet that burden of proof. There is no reliable evidence that Medicaid saves lives, scant reliable evidence it improves health outcomes at all, and absolutely no evidence that it is a cost-effective way of improving health. In the absence of such evidence, there can be no urgent need to expand Medicaid.

Expanding Medicaid Would Destroy Jobs

The most vocal advocates of the Medicaid expansion are the health care providers who would receive its subsidies. 57 (As George Bernard Shaw noted, “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”58 ) Though Pennsylvania hospitals claim the expansion would create or save jobs, in reality it would destroy jobs. Government spending does not appear out of thin air. The money spent is diverted from other job-creating uses, and the taxes that raise those funds reduce overall economic activity. 59 University of Chicago economics professor Casey Mulligan explains:

Medicaid is a transfer, so it creates jobs in the sectors where it is spent, but it destroys jobs at the source of financing (for example, someone fails to buy a new car because he or she is lending money to the government to finance the expansion)…

States therefore have a choice of depressing their employment rates by accepting the Medicaid expansion and the significant additional financing that goes with it, or forgoing the expansion and its employment-depressing effects…

If enough states [refuse to expand Medicaid], both state and federal taxpayers could save a lot, and the nation might avoid another depressing force on its labor market. 60

Indeed, treating Medicaid like a jobs program is dangerously counterproductive. A thought experiment can illustrate. Consider the following medical innovations:

  • Artificial respirators pump oxygen into patients’ lungs.
  • Oximeters, the small devices that attach to a patient’s forefinger, automatically measure the oxygen in her blood and display the results on a monitor.
  • Blood pressure machines automatically track the patient’s blood pressure, and display that information on the same monitor.
  • Dosage machines automatically dispense the right amount of medication to the patient at the right time.
  • Mechanical hospital beds automatically and gently adjust to prevent bed-ridden patients from developing painful pressure sores.
  • Electronic medical records make patient information more secure and accessible, and can reduce administrative costs and duplicative testing.

If supporters of the expansion believe the purpose of Medicaid is to create jobs, they should endorse legislation denying Medicaid reimbursement for these devices. Even better, they should endorse banning them outright. Think of all the jobs that would create for nurses, lab technicians, orderlies, and clerks, who would then have to perform those tasks by hand! Of course, that would be foolish, because it would make health care more expensive.

Likewise, as two Harvard economists recently explained in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Treating the health care system like a (wildly inefficient) jobs program conflicts directly with the goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to care at an affordable price. “61 Expanding Medicaid for the sake of creating or saving jobs would reduce incentives to find ways of delivering better health care at a lower cost, and soak up resources that could be put to better use. The day Medicaid becomes a jobs program, we should abolish it-not expand it.

Washington Plans to Rescind Medicaid “DSH” Cuts Anyway

State officials don’t need to expand Medicaid to save hospitals from cuts in the federal government’s Medicaid “disproportionate share hospital” payments. The federal government is already planning to rescind those cuts, a development that further weakens the case for the expansion.

Hospitals have lobbied for the expansion on the grounds that they need it to compensate for the PPACA’s cuts to Medicaid DSH payments, which the hospitals receive from the federal government to cover the cost of treating patients who don’t pay their medical bills. As a preliminary matter, if hospitals dislike those cuts, they should not have endorsed the PPACA in the first place. The hospital industry was nearly unanimous in its support for the law. Various hospital lobbies “strongly urge[ d]” Congress to pass the PPACA “with or without bipartisan support” as a matter of “national security, equity and fairness”;62 hailed the law as “historic,” “a giant and essential step forward,”63 and a “major first step” full of “great improvements”;64 and even “salute~d]”65 the “strong leadership”66 of its authors, who advocated it “eloquently and forcefully.”67 If the Medicaid DSH cuts take effect, the hospital industry has no one to blame but itself

As it happens, it appears those cuts will not take effect. The Obama administration and members of Congress from both parties have proposed eliminating them. In his budget proposal for fiscal year 2014, President Obama proposed to rescind the Medicaid DSH cuts the PPACA would impose in all states in 2015.68 The Obama administration’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed to eliminate two years’ worth of Medicaid DSH cuts.69 Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) have introduced legislation to rescind those cuts.70 The bipartisan support for rescinding these cuts means Pennsylvania has even less reason to implement the expansion.71

Expansion Doesn’t Solve the PPACA’s Discrimination against Citizens

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has claimed that not expanding Medicaid would result in discrimination against U.S. citizens. In some cases the PPACA would provide larger subsidies to legal immigrants (who would receive subsidized private insurance through an Exchange) than to citizens (who would receive Medicaid or no subsidies). Yet the source of this discrimination is the PPACA’s Exchange subsidies, therefore expanding Medicaid would not eliminate it. States can eliminate this discrimination by refusing to establish an Exchange, as 34 states including Pennsylvania have done. 72

Here’s how the PPACA discriminates against U.S. citizens. Many states decline to cover certain legal immigrants through their Medicaid programs. The PPACA’s authors therefore let those immigrants purchase subsidized health insurance through an Exchange. The practical effect is that if a legal immigrant and a U.S. citizen are both below the poverty level, the immigrant may receive government-subsidized private health insurance, while the citizen always gets less. She either receives inferior Medicaid coverage or (if her state refuses to expand Medicaid) no subsidy at all.

Note that expanding Medicaid does not end the discrimination against citizens, which occurs whether the state implements the expansion or not. The only way to prevent such discrimination is to block the Exchange subsidies, which the PPACA gives states the power to do.

The PPACA authorizes Exchange subsidies only in states that establish their own Exchanges. Pennsylvania, along with 33 other states, have refused to establish an Exchange, which blocks those discriminatory subsidies.

Unfortunately, the IRS is trying to issue those subsidies in those 34 states anyway. The agency is attempting to spend some $800 billion without congressional authorization, and indeed contrary to the plain language of the PPACA and congressional intent. 73

State officials who want to stop discrimination against U.S. citizens must challenge these illegal subsidies in court, as Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt has done. 74 Stopping the IRS’s $800 billion power grab is the only way to stop such discrimination. Expanding Medicaid would not end it, because many citizens would still receive Medicaid coverage while immigrants receive private insurance.

Expansion Would Not Eliminate Penalties against Employers

Some employers have endorsed the expansion because it would reduce the penalties they face under the PPACA’s employer mandate. Yet the expansion would not eliminate penalties against employers. Refusing to establish an Exchange and stopping the IRS’s illegal power grab, on the other hand, would eliminate all penalties against all employers.

Expanding Medicaid would protect some employers from some penalties. The PPACA’s employer mandate penalizes certain employers up to $2,000 per worker if (1) the employer fails to offer sufficient coverage to all full-time workers, and (2) one of those workers receives a subsidy through an Exchange. Workers who are eligible for Medicaid are not eligible for Exchange subsidies. Ifa state implements the expansion, then workers with household incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level could not receive Exchange subsidies, and their employers therefore could not be penalized for failing to offer them coverage. Employers would still be penalized for failing to provide coverage to other workers, however. Many employers would receive no relief at all.

If a state refuses to establish an Exchange, however, the PPACA allows no Exchange subsidies and therefore no penalties against employers. Pennsylvania and the other 33 states that have refused to establish Exchanges have already exempted their employers from those penalties.75 Pennsylvania should join Oklahoma in challenging the IRS’s illegal Exchange subsidies in court.

No Exit

Supporters argue that if the cost proves too great, Pennsylvania can simply back out of the expansion. Some have even proposed an automatic “sunset” provision that would automatically end the program on a specified date, thereby forcing the legislature to reauthorize it. A sunset provision, they argue, would guarantee that the program would become permanent only if it proves successful.

In reality, even with a sunset provision, the expansion is a no-exit proposition. Once implemented, it will become permanent despite the inevitable cost overruns, the damage to the private insurance markets, and even if it fails to benefit enrollees. As Milton Friedman once quipped, “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”76

Automatic sunset provisions have next to zero chance of sunsetting the expansion. State officials are loath to cut Medicaid even under the “old” matching grant system, where Pennsylvania gets to keep 46 percent of the savings. Even if all else were equal, officials will be much less likely to sunset the expansion if the state can only keep 10 percent or less of the savings.

Moreover, all else will not be equal. By the time a sunset provision would take effect, health care providers and the expansion’s new enrollees will have grown dependent on the “their” new subsidies. If you think providers are lobbying heavily for the Medicaid expansion today, just wait until you see their efforts to reauthorize it. That lobbying campaign will be augmented by years of new expansion revenues, plus a new constituency that does not exist today-i.e., new enrollees.

The fact that some states have proposed automatically shutting down the expansion on December 31, 2016, illustrates how unserious and cynical sunset proposals are. Who can imagine a state legislature dropping thousands of people from the Medicaid rolls just one week after Christmas?

And even if Pennsylvania tries to sunset the expansion, the federal government could nevertheless force the state to reauthorize it. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius could simply decree that states that implement the expansion may not opt out, but must continue to comply

with its requirements or lose all federal Medicaid funds, even if the federal government reneges on its promise to shoulder 90 percent of the spending. The Congressional Research Service writes:

the [Supreme] Court did not address such matters as whether a state that chooses to expand its Medicaid coverage may later decide to ‘opt out’ of that choice and of the expansion requirements…[T]hese practical ramifications of the Court’s ruling…will need to be addressed by the Secretary of HHS, who has overall authority to implement the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, taking into consideration the Supreme Court’s decision.77

Sebelius has taken much greater liberties than this in implementing the ruling in NFIB (see below). Some legal scholars argue the Court could uphold such a decree:

While the Supreme Court stated that the federal government cannot condition the first dollar of existing Medicaid coverage upon a state’s decision of whether to opt into the expansion, it did not say that those requirements of federal law would not apply after a state has opted into the expansion. As such… it is entirely likely that a court would find that the Secretary of Health and Human Services has the legal authority to condition first-dollar federal Medicaid spending on…continuation in the expanded program. In other words: the federal government may shift a greater portion of the financial burden to states, but if [a state] has agreed to the expansion, it is likely that it will be locked into the program with no meaningful way to exit without risking ALL federal Medicaid funds. 78

Even if the Court ultimately rules against HHS, litigating the issue would be costly, not least because Pennsylvania could have to keep funding the expansion while the litigation is pending.

Does the “Arkansas Plan” Make Sense?

Under a proposal put forward by Gov. Mike Beebe (D), Arkansas has requested and received initial approval to enroll the Medicaid-expansion population through the state’s Exchange. The Beebe plan would increase the cost of the expansion, would strip even more Americans of their existing coverage by encouraging more employers to drop their health benefits, would violate congressional intent, is of dubious legality, 79 would make the PPACA even more of a giveaway to private insurance companies, and would add a new form of discrimination to the law-i.e., discrimination against low-income parents.

The Beebe plan would dramatically increase the cost of the expansion. MIT health economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the PPACA’s architects, explains, “Medicaid coverage is less expensive than coverage in the exchange for this population. “80 The Congressional Budget Office estimates covering expansion enrollees through an Exchange would cost an additional $3,000 per person, increasing the overall cost of the expansion by 50 percent. 81 Implemented nationwide, such a plan would increase the cost of the PPACA and federal deficits by more than $50 billion over 10 years.82

Opening the Exchanges to expansion enrollees would encourage even more employers to drop coverage. Exchange plans will presumably offer better access to care than traditional Medicaid. Ifso, workers will be more willing to drop their employer’s coverage to enroll in the expansion, and firms with low-wage workers will be more likely to stop offering coverage entirely. Gruber explains, “if the entitlement for low-income individuals is to an exchange, disruption of existing employer insurance arrangements will be higher than if it is to a Medicaid.”83 Under the Beebe plan, the share of expansion enrollees who would have had private insurance anyway would therefore likely be even higher than the 82 percent projected under the expansion.

Due to its cost, the PPACA’s authors forcefully and repeatedly rejected this proposal in two separate committees during congressional consideration of the Act. Shortly before the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions rejected the idea, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) said, “[F]or our committee to say…that anyone covered by Medicaid could opt to go into the [Exchange] and obtain subsidies I think would just add to the cost and I would have to oppose the amendment.”84 Before the Senate Committee on Finance did the same, chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), the lead author of the PPACA, was strident:

I must say that this is a very bad amendment… If you are concerned about affordability, you will reject this amendment outright immediately…this one just blows affordability out the window. We cannot acc~t this amendment…I cannot understand how anybody would vote for this amendment. 85

Given such a clear statement of congressional intent, it would be wrong, and likely unlawful, for HHS to spend up to $50 billion or more on a proposal that Congress expressly rejected.

The main beneficiaries of those additional subsidies would be insurance companies. Since its introduction in 2009, left-wing critics have called the PPACA a giveaway to private health insurance companies because it forces nearly all Americans to purchase those companies’ products. The Beebe plan would increase government spending by paying private insurers more to cover Medicaid enrollees outside of Medicaid than they would receive for covering them through the Medicaid program. It would therefore make the PPACA an even greater giveaway to private insurers. Paul Krugman rightly calls Beebe’s proposal “welfare for the medical-industrial complex. “86

Finally, the Beebe plan would offer better coverage to low-income bachelors than low-income families. The expansion population consists primarily of childless adults below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, while families in that income category are often already covered through the traditional Medicaid program. Under the Beebe plan, those childless adults would receive private coverage through an Exchange, while low-income children and their parents would receive (likely inferior) coverage through traditional Medicaid. 87

States Can Decline All of the PPACA’s Medicaid Provisions

States can further reduce their Medicaid outlays, and federal deficits, by refusing to implement any portion of the PPACA’s Medicaid expansion. The Supreme Court’s ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius gave states the power to reject not just the expansion’s coverage for newly eligible adults, but all mandatory Medicaid provisions of the PPACA.

As originally conceived, the expansion mandated that states expand their Medicaid programs in numerous ways. States that failed to comply would lose all federal Medicaid funds, which amount to roughly 12 percent of revenues for the average state.88 The Court found that mandate unconstitutionally coercive.

The Court then freed states to refuse all mandatory Medicaid provisions of the law, including mandatory eligibility for all adults and children below 138 percent of poverty, “maintenance-of-effort,” the new “MAGI” income standard, eligibility determinations for Exchanges, and so forth.89

Shortly after the Court issued its ruling, however, Secretary Sebelius arbitrarily narrowed that ruling. In a letter to governors, Sebelius invented the interpretation that states may only opt out of providing coverage for newly eligible adults. 90 Failure to implement any of the provisions of the expansion would result in the same penalty as before NFIB: the federal government would revoke all federal Medicaid grants. In other words, Sebelius is continuing to threaten states with the loss of all federal funds-a penalty the Supreme Court held to be coercion-unless they implement provisions of the law the Court made official. Maine ran afoul of Sebelius’ rewriting of NFIB and has challenged HHS in federal court. 91 States can further reduce the cost of their Medicaid programs, and federal spending and debt, by following Maine’s example.

Better Options

Americans’ access to medical care is less secure than it should be thanks to decades of government interventions like the PPACA. Blocking and repealing this Act are positive steps that will make health care more affordable and secure. For example, the CBO reports that repealing the PPACA would reduce premiums for many consumers by freeing them to purchase more affordable health plans.92

Pennsylvania and federal officials should not stop there. After rejecting both an Exchange and the Medicaid expansion, and stopping the Obama administration’s attempts to ignore and rewrite the law, state officials should adopt reforms that make health care better and bring it within the reach of more patients.

“Good Samaritan” Law

For example, Pennsylvania should enact a “Good Samaritan” law like those enacted in Tennessee, Illinois, and Connecticut.93 Such a law would increase access to care for the poor without costing taxpayers a dime or threatening other priorities like education.

Volunteer groups like Remote Area Medical engage doctors and other clinicians from around the country to treat indigent patients in rural and inner-city areas of various states. These volunteers are often turned away from providing free medical care to the poor, however, because even though the have a valid license from their own state-they do not have a license to practice issued by the state they are visiting. Remote Area Medical has had to turn away patients or cancel clinics in California, Florida, and Georgia due to these licensing restrictions. “Before Georgia told us to stop,” says founder Stan Brock, “we used to go down to southern Georgia and work with the Lions Club there treating patients.” After a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri, Remote Area Medical arrived with a mobile eyeglass lab, yet state officials prohibited the visiting optometrists from giving away free glasses.94

Tennessee, Illinois, and Connecticut have enacted laws that allow out-of-state-licensed clinicians to deliver free charitable care in their states without incurring the considerable and unnecessary costs of obtaining a new license. (To protect patients, visiting clinicians should and would still be subject to the malpractice laws of whatever state in which they are practicing.) In May 2013, the Missouri legislature sent such a law to the governor for his signature.95

Let Patients and Doctors Reform Malpractice Liability

Colorado can also expand access to care for the poor, again without costing taxpayers a dime, by allowing patients and providers to enact their own “med mal” reforms via contracts.

The expense to physicians of medical malpractice liability insurance increases the price of health care services for patients, pricing many low-income patients out of the market. Some “med mal” reforms would reduce the price of medical services, potentially making medical care more affordable. On the other hand, to the extent that these reforms limit physicians’ exposure to liability, they may reduce physicians’ incentives to improve the quality of care or prevent some injured patients from recovering the full cost of their injuries.96 When these types of complicated tradeoffs exist, the best approach is to let patients choose the tradeoff that works best for them.

Pennsylvania should allow patients and providers to adopt their own med-mal reforms via contract.97 Patients who want caps on non-economic damages, mandatory binding arbitration, medical courts, or a “loser pays” rule could choose those reforms, and enjoy any concomitant reduction in their medical bills. Patients who prefer to have an unlimited right to sue could write that into contracts with their medical providers, and pay whatever markup comes with that added protection. Where states have already imposed caps on noneconomic damages or other limitations on patients’ right to recover, this freedom would allow patients to demand greater protections than those laws allow. The resulting experimentation would inform all patients and providers about which med-mal reforms do the best job of protecting patients.

The obstacle to such contracts is that courts will not enforce them. That unfortunate judicial trend denies care to low-income patients by denying them the opportunity to decide for themselves whether accessing medical care now is more important than an unlimited right to sue in the unlikely event they suffer an injury due to a provider’s negligence. Pennsylvania’s legislature should direct courts to enforce such contracts. Such a law would expand access to care for the poor, again without imposing any costs on taxpayers.

Study Whether Medicaid Works

Most non-health care experts are surprised to learn, as discussed above, how little reliable evidence there is that Medicaid has a positive impact on health, and how there is no evidence it is a cost-effective way to improve health.98 Though the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment is a promising start, some observers complain it was too small99 and Oregon officials have unfortunately halted that experiment.

Rather than expand Medicaid, Pennsylvania should apply for a waiver to conduct an experiment like the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment with existing populations, to determine exactly what taxpayers are getting for the billions of dollars they are forced to contribute to the program. Such a study would reduce state and federal Medicaid spending while improving the state of knowledge about Medicaid’s effects.

No doubt some will object to a study that randomly assigning Medicaid slots among existing populations. Yet the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment showed that losing the lottery reduced average medical spending among study subjects byjust 25 percent, with no indications of harm to their physical health. The truly unethical course would be to preserve or expand Medicaid without knowing whether on balance that additional spending even helps enrollees.


Twenty-six states argued before the Supreme Court that the PPACA coerced states into implementing an unaffordable Medicaid expansion. It remains unaffordable today given current projections, and its actual cost is likely to exceed those projections. Perhaps more important, expanding Medicaid conflicts with the goal of delivering affordable, high-quality health care. Pennsylvania should decline to underwrite the PPACA’s Medicaid expansion.

I thank you for the opportunity to present my views to the committee.

1 Portions of this testimony are adapted from Michael F. Cannon, “50 Vetoes: How States Can Block the Obama Health Law,” Cato Institute White Paper, March 21, 2013, http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/50-vetoes-white-paper.pdf.
2 See Michael F. Cannon, “50 Vetoes: How States Can Block the Obama Health Law,” Cato Institute White Paper, March 21, 2013, http://www.cato.org/site cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/50-vetoes-white-paper.pdf.
3 This $1.2 trillion figure represents the total projected burden of the revenue-increasing provisions of the law. Douglas W. Elmendorf, “Letter to Rep. John Boehner on Repeal of Obamacare Act, as passed by the House of Representatives on July 11, 2012,” July 24,2012, p. 6, http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43471-hr6079.pdf. As the CBO has not published updated projections for all such provisions, this estimate may not be directly comparable to subsequent projections.
4 Christopher J. Conover, “Congress Should Account for the Excess Burden of Taxation,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 669, October 13, 2010, p. 8, http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/PA669.pdf.
5 This $1.6 trillion figure represents total projected spending under the insurance-coverage provisions of the Act, and does not include the budgetary impact of the non-refundable portion of the Act’s premium-assistance tax credits, which further increase federal deficits. Congressional Budget Office, Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage-February 2013 Baseline, February 5, 2013, p. 2, http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43900-2014-02-ACAtables.pdf, and author’s calculations; Douglas W. Elmendorf, “Letter to Rep. John Boehner,” Table 2, pp. 5-11 (showing 78 percent of the budgetary impact of Exchange-related tax credits and subsidies is new spending, while only 22 percent is tax reduction); and author’s calculations. The estimate also reflects the fact that certain states have refused to implement the Act’s Medicaid expansion. That adjustment reduces projected Medicaid outlays, but increases the budgetary impact of Exchange-related tax credits and subsidies. The CBO’s most recent projections based on all states implementing the Medicaid expansion (from March 2012, and adjusted for slower observed growth in Medicaid spending) yield a similar estimate: $1.5 trillion. Congressional Budget Office, Updated Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, March 2012, p. 11, http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-13-Coverage%20Estimates.pdf; Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023, February 2013, p. 60, http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43907-BudgetOutlook.pdf; Elmendorf, “Letter to Rep. John Boehner,” Table 2, pp. 5-6; and author’s calculations.
6 Congressional Budget Office, Updated Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, March 2012, p. 12, http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-13-Coverage-Estimates.pdf.
7 Michael F. Cannon, “Yes, ObamaCare Will Eliminate Some 800,000 Jobs,” Cato@Liberty, November 2, 2011, http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/yes-obamacare-will-eliminate-some-800000-jobs/.
8 Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, “Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District,” March 6, 2013, http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/beigebooklbeigebook201303.htm.
9 Austan Goolsbee et al., “Non-Farm Payrolls Up 236,000 in February,” CNBC Video, March 8, 2013, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000153157.
10 Austan Goolsbee et al., “Non-Farm Payrolls Up 236,000 in February,” CNBC Video, March 8, 2013, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000153157.
11 American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-240, Sec. 642, 126 Stat. 2313, 2358 (2013).
12 See, for example, Sarah Kliff, “The Fiscal Cliff Cuts $1.9 Billion from Obamacare. Here’s How,” Washington Post, January 2, 2013, http://www. washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkbloglwp/20 13/01102/the-fiscal-cliff-cuts-1-9-billion-from-obamacare-heres-how/. Elise Viebeck, “Health Plan Advocates Slam ‘Cliff Deal Cuts,” The Hill, January 3, 2013, http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/275479-health-co-oQ=advocates-slams-cliff-deal-cuts. Sarah Kliff, “In ‘Fiscal Cliff Deal, a Blow to ObamaCare,” Washington Post,January 15, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01115/co-ops-were-supposed-to/replace-the-public-option-now-they-are-dead/.
13 Janet Adamy, “Roofer Union Calls for Repeal of Obama Health Law,” Wall Street Journal Washington Wire, April 16, 2013, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/20 13/04/16/roofer-uni>on-calls-for-repeal-of-obama-health-law/.
14 For more on health insurance Exchanges, see Michael F. Cannon, “50 Vetoes: How States Can Block the Obama Health Law,” Cato Institute White Paper, March 21, 2013, http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/50vetoes-white-paper.pdf.
15 Funding an Exchange could cost the state upward of $34 million in the first year, and likely would cost the state half a billion dollars over the first 10 years. Jeremy D. Palmer, Jill S. Herbold, and Paul R. Houchens, “Milliman Client Report: Assist with the First Year of Planning for Design and Implementation of a Federally Mandated American Health Benefits Exchange in the Individual Market,” 2011, pp. 1-2, http://www.ohioexchange.ohio.gov/Documents/MillimanReport.pdf.
16 Kaiser Family Foundation, “Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid and Multiplier: Pennsylvania,” StateHealthFacts.org, http://ff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/federal-matching-rate-and-multiplier?state=PA.
17 Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Report Says States Can Get More Than $9 From Feds For Every $1 They Spend To Expand Medicaid,” Associated Press, November 26,2012, http://www.startribune.com/politics/18087020l.html?refer=y.
18 Adrianna Mcintyre & Karan Chhabra, “Arkansas is Fiddling Around with Obamacare. People Care. But is it Legal, and Does it Matter?” Project Millennial, March 2, 2013, http://projectmillennial.org/2013/03/02/arkansas-is-fiddling-with-obamacare/.
19 Kaiser Family Foundation and Urban Institute, “The Cost and Coverage Implications of the ACA Medicaid Expansion: National and State-by-State Analysis,” November 2012, Table 3, p. 42, http://www.kff.org/medicaidlupload/8384.pdf.
20 See Jagadeesh Gokhale, “Estimating Obama Care’s Effect on State Medicaid Expenditure Growth,” Cato Institute White Paper, January 11, 2011, http://www.cato.org/publications/workingpaper/estimating-obamacares-effect-statemedicaid-expenditure-growth; Jagadeesh Gokhale and Angela C. Erickson, “The Effect of Federal Health Care ‘Reform’ on Kansas General Fund Medicaid Expenditures,” Kansas Policy Institute, June 2011, http://www.kansaspolicy.org/researchcenters/healthcare/studiesanalysis/d790 18.aspx; Jagadeesh Gokhale, “Projecting Oklahoma’s Medicaid Expenditure Growth Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, May, 2011, http://www.cato.org/articles/projecting-oklahomas-medicaid-expenditure-growth-under-ppaca; Jagadeesh Gokhale, Angela C. Erickson, and Geoffrey Larence, “The Impact of ObamaCare on Nevada’s Medicaid Spending,” Nevada Policy Research Institute Analysis, May 5, 2011, http://npri.org/docLib/20110510 Impact of Obamacare on Nevadas Medicaid Spending.pdf; Jagadeesh Gokhale, “New Jersey’s Medicaid Spending Escalation under the PPACA,” Presentation to the Common Sense Institute, New Jersey, December 20, 2011.
21 Joint Economic Committee, Are Health Care Reform Cost Estimates Reliable? July 31, 2009, http://www.jec.senate.gov/republicans/public/?a=Files.Serve&Fileid=5802c84c-e821-4ab3-baeb-793f3ae2e036.
22 Jonathan Ingram, “Medicaid Expansion: We Already Know How the Story Ends,” Foundation for Government Accountability, March 11, 2103, http://www.tloridafga.org/wp-content/uploads/Medicaid-Expansion-We-Already-Know-How-the-Storv-Ends.pdf.
23 Sam Baker and Elise Viebeck, “Overnight Health: Cost of Exchanges Doubles,” The Hill, April10, 2013, http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatchlhealth-reform-implementation/293077-overnight-health.
24 U.S. Congressional Budget Office, Updated Budget Projections: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023, May 2013, p. 8, http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44172-Basel ine2.pdf.
25 Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023, February 2013, pp. 25-28, http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43907-BudgetOutlook.pdf.
26 U.S. Congressional Budget Office, Updated Budget Projections: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023, May 2013, p. 5, http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44172-Baseline2.pdf; and author’s calculations.
27 Rick Pearson, “Rep. Paul Ryan Warns Governors on Obama Health Care Plan,” Chicago Tribune, April 22, 2013, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-rep-paul-ryan-wams-govemors-on-obama-health-care-plan20l30422.0.5092152.story.
28 Office Of Mgmt. & Budget, Exec. Office OfThe President, Budget Of The United States Government, Fiscal Year 2013 (2012), at 113; and Office Of Mgmt. & Budget, Exec. Office Of The President, Budget Of The United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012 (2011), at 80.
29 Preventing an Unrealistic Future Medicaid Augmentation Plans (FMAP) Act of 2013, S. 963, 113th Cong. (20 13); and Medicaid Expansion Repeal and State Flexibility Act, H.R 1404, 113th Cong. (2013).
30 Kaiser Family Foundation, “Federal and State Share of Medicaid Spending: Pennsylvania,” StateHealthFacts.org, http://kff.org/medicaid-state-indicator/federalstate-share-of-spending-fv2010/?state=PA. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Total Medicaid Emollment: Pennsylvania,” StateHealthFacts.org, http://kff.org/medicaid-state-indicator/totalmedicaid-emollment-fy2009/?state=P A.
31 “Full Text: SC Gov. Nikki Haley State of the State address,” The State, January 16, 2013, http://www.thestate.com/20 13/0 1/16/2592664/full-text-sc-gov-nikki-haley-state.html.
32 Congressional Budget Office, Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act: Updated for the Recent Supreme Court Decision, July 2012, p. 2, http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43472-07-24-2012-CoverageEstirnates.pdf.
33 Carter C. Price and Christine Eibner, “For States That Opt Out Of Medicaid Expansion: 3.6 Million Fewer Insured And $8.4 Billion Less In Federal Payments,” Health Affairs 32 (6), June 2013, 1030-1036, http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/3 2/6/1030.abstract.
34 Michael F. Cannon, “Entitlement Bandits,” National Review, July 4, 2011, http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/entitlement-bandits-how-ryan-plan-would-curb-medicare-medicaid-fraud.
35 Clifford J. Levy and Michael Luo, “New York Medicaid Fraud May Reach Into Billions,” The New York Times, July 18,2005, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9807E7D8163CF93BA25754COA9639C8B63.
36 See U.S. Government Accountability Office, High-Risk Series: An Update, GA0-13-283, February 14, 2013, p. 255, http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652133.pdf.
37 Malcolm K. Sparrow, Criminal Prosecution as a Deterrent to Health Care Fraud, Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, 111th Cong., May 20, 2009, http://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/news/testimonies/sparrow-senate-testimony.
38 Steven D. Pizer, Austin B. Frakt, and Lisa I. Iezzoni, “The Effect of Health Reform on Public and Private Insurance in the Long Run,” March 9, 2011, http://ssm.com/abstract=l782210. See also Jeffrey R. Brown and Amy Finkelstein, “The Interaction of Public and Private Insurance: Medicaid and $e Long-Term Care Insurance Market,” American Economic Review 98, No.3 (2008): 1083-1102; Geena Kim, “Medicaid Crowd-Out of Long-Term Care Insurance with Endogenous Medicaid Enrollment,” 12th Annual Joint Conference of the Retirement Research Consortium, 2010.
39 Jonathan Ingram, “Medicaid Expansion: We Already Know How the Story Ends,” Foundation for Government Accountability, March 11, 2103, http://www.floridafga.org/wp-content/uploads/Medicaid-Expansion-We-Already-Know-How-the-Story-Ends.pdf.
40 Sandra L. Decker, “In 2011 Nearly One-Third of Physicians Said They Would Not Accept New Medicaid Patients, But Rising Fees May Help,” Health Affairs 31, No. 8 (2012), http://content. healthaffairs.org/content/31/8/1673.full.
41 Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, “Oral Health Workforce,” 2013, http://www.hrsa.gov/publichealth/clinical/oralhealth/workforce.html.
42 Mary Otto, “For Want of a Dentist; Pr. George’s Boy Dies after Bacteria from Tooth Spread to Brain,” Washington Post, February 28, 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/02/27/AR2007022702116 pf.html.
43 Paul T. Cheung et al., “National Study of Barriers to Timely Primary Care and Emergency Department Utilization Among Medicaid Beneficiaries,” Annals of Emergency Medicine 60, No.1 (2012): 4-10, http://www.annemergmed.com/webfiles/images/joumals/ymern/FA-PTCheung.pdf.
44 Roberta Capp, “Expanding Medicaid coverage is not a cure-all,” Washington Post, June 13, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/expanding-medicaid-coverage-is-not-a-cure-all/2013/06/13/6257f772d216-lle2-a73e-826d299ff459/print.html.
45 Paul T. Cheung et al., “National Study of Barriers to Timely Primary Care and Emergency Department Utilization Among Medicaid Beneficiaries,” Annals of Emergency Medicine 60, No. 1 (2012): 4-10, http://www.annemergmed.com/webfiles/images/joumals/ymern/F A-PTCheung.pdf.
46 Ning Tang et al., “Trends and characteristics of US emergency department visits, 1997-2007,” Journal of the American Medical Association 304, No. 6 (201 0): 664-70, http:/ljama.ama-assn.org/content/304/6/664.
47 Jonathan Ingram, “Medicaid Expansion: We Already Know How The Story Ends,” Foundation for Government Accountability Policy Brief No.3, March 11, 2013, p. 6, http://www.floridafga.org/wp-content/uploads/MedicaidExpansion-We-Already-Know-How-the-Story-Ends.pdf.
48 Tracy A. Harris, The U.S. Oral Health Workforce in the Coming Decade: Workshop Summary (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2009), p. 118, http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record id=l2669&page=ll8.
49 Mary Otto, “For Want of a Dentist; Pr. George’s Boy Dies after Bacteria from Tooth Spread to Brain,” Washington Post, February 28, 2007, http://www.washingtonoost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2007/02/27/IAR2007022702116pf.html.
50 Mary Otto, “For Want of a Dentist; Pr. George’s Boy Dies after Bacteria from Tooth Spread to Brain,” Washington Post, February 28, 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/27IAR2007022702116pf.html.
51 Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023, February 2013, p.16, http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofileslattachments/43907-BudgetOutlook.pdf and author’s calculations.
52 See Jonathan Gruber and Aaron Yelowitz, “Public Health Insurance and Private Savings,” Journal of Political Economy 107, no. 6, part 1 (December 1999): 1259; and AaronS. Yelowitz, “Evaluating the Effects of Medicaid on Welfare and Work: Evidence from the Past Decade,” Employment Policies Institute, December 2000, p. iv.
53 Mark Duggan and Fiona Scott Morton, “The Distortionary Effects ofGovernment Procurement: Evidence from Medicaid Prescription Drug Purchasing,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 121, no. 1 (2006). Jonathan Gruber and Kosali Simon, “Crowd-out 10 Years Later: Have Recent Public Insurance Expansions Crowded out Private Health Insurance?” Journal of Health Economics 27, no. 2 (March 2008): 201-17, http://bit.ly/74UzPy.
54 Amy Finkelstein, et al., “The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year,” Quarterly Journal ofEconomics 127, No.3 (2012): 1243-1285. Michael F. Cannon, “Oregon’s Verdict on Medicaid,” National Review Online, July 7, 2011, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/271252/oregon-s-verdict-medicaid/michael-f-cannon.
55 Katherine Baicker et alia, “The Oregon Experiment-Effects of Medicaid on Clinical Outcomes,” New England Journal of Medicine 368, no. 18 (2013): 1713-1722, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsal212321.
56 Ezra Klein, “Joe Lieberman: Let’s not make a deal!,” The Washington Post, December 14, 2009, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/12/joe liebennan lets not make a.html (citing Sen. Joe Lieberman’s, I-Conn., threat to filibuster the PPACA as evidence that “he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score”).
57 Michael Ollove, “Hospitals Lobby Hard for Medicaid Expansion,” Stateline.org, April 17, 2013, http://www.pewstates.org/projectslstateline/headlines/hospitals-lobby-hard-for-medicaid-expansion-85899469003.
58 “George Bernard Shaw,” Wikiquote.org, 2013, http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George Bernard Shaw.
59 See Christopher J. Conover, “Congress Should Account for the Excess Burden of Taxation,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 669, October 13,2010, p. 8, http://www.cato.org/pubslpas/PA669.pdf.
60 Casey B. Mulligan, “Medicaid Expansion and Jobs,” The New York Times Economix {blog), July 3, 2012, http://economix.b Iogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/will-states-expand-their-medicaid/.
61 Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra, “The Health Care Jobs Fallacy,” New England Journal of Medicine 366, no. 26 (2012): 2433-35, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMpl204891.
62 Larry S. Gage, “Statement on President Barack Obama’s Health Care Reform Speech to the Joint Session Of Congress.” Written Statement. Washington, D.C., September 10, 2009. http://www.naph.org/Homepage/Sections/News/Announcements/NAPH-Reaction-to-Presidents-HC-Soeech.aspx?FT.pdf.
63 Larry S. Gage, “Statement on President Barack Obama’s Health Care Reform Speech to the Joint Session Of Congress.” Written Statement. Washington, D.C., September 10,2009. http://www.naoh.org/Homepage/Sections/News/Announcements/NAPH-Reaction-to-Presidents-HC-Speech.aspx?FT.pdf.
64 Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Split among abortion opponents widens as Catholic hospitals publicly support health care bill,” StarTribune.com, March 13, 2010, http://www.startribune.com/templates/Print This Story?sid=87583902.
65 Chip Kahn, “FAH Salutes President Obama, Congressional Leaders, for Making Health Reform a Reality.” Written Statement. Washington, D.C., March 23, 2010, http://www.fah.org!fahCMS/Documents!Press%20Releases/2010/PPACA-Signing.pdf.
66 Richard Umbdenstock, Letter to Nancy Pelosi, quoted in “AHA announce[s] support for passage of Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act.” NewsMedical. March 22, 2010. http://www.news.medical.net/news/20100322/AHA-announce-supoort-for-passage-of-Patient-Protection-and-Affordable-Health-Care-Act.aspx.
67 Larry S. Gage, “Statement on President Barack Obama’s Health Care Reform Speech to the Joint Session Of Congress.” Written Statement. Washington, D.C., September 10, 2009. http://www.naph.org/Homepage/Sections/News/Announcements/NAPH-Reaction-to-Presidents-HC-Speech.aspx?FT.pdf.
68 Office Of Mgmt. & Budget, Exec. Office Of The President, Budget Of The United States Government, Fiscal Year 2014 (2013), at 101.
69 State Disproportionate Share Hospital Allotment Reductions, 42 C.F.R. § 447.253 (2012).
70 Excellence in Mental Health Act, S. 264, 113th Cong. (2013).
71 See Michael F. Cannon, “Obama’s Damaging Admission,” National Review Online, April 17, 2013, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/345743/obamas-damaging-admission.
72 Michael F. Cannon, “On ObamaCare’s Discriminatory Subsidies, Brewer Bows When Arizona Should Keep Slugging,” Cato@Liberty, January 31, 2013, http://www.cato.org/bloglobamacares-discriminatory-subsidiesbrewer-bows-when-arizona-should-keep=slugging.
73 Michael Gerson, “The Unwelcome Role of the IRS in ObamaCare,” Washington Post, May 23, 2013, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-gerson-the-irs-has-an-unwelcome-role-in-obamacare/2013/05/23/b4el 0550-c3df-11e2-8c3b-Ob5e924 7e8ca story.html.
74 Jonathan H. Adler and Michael F. Cannon, “Taxation without Representation: The Illegal IRS Rule to Expand Tax Credits under the PPACA,” Case Legal Studies Research Paper no. 2012-27, December 14,2012, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract&id=2106789.
75 For more on health insurance Exchanges, see Michael F. Cannon, “50 Vetoes: How States Can Block the Obama Health Law,” Cato Institute White Paper, March 21, 2013, http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/50-vetoes-white-paper.pdf.
76 “Milton Friedman in His Own Words,” Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, accessed June 7, 2013, http://bfi.uchicago.edu/about/tributelmfquotes.shtml.
77 Kathleen S. Swendiman and Evelyne P. Baumrucker, “Selected Issues Related to the Effect ofNFIB v. Sebelius on the Medicaid Expansion Requirements in Section 2001 of the Affordable Care Act,” Congressional Research Service memorandum, July 16,2012, http://www.ncsl.org/documents/health/aca-medicaid-expansion-memo.pdf.
78 Robert D. Alt, “Expanding Medicaid: The Wrong Policy for Ohio,” Ohio House of Representatives, Finance Committee, Interested Party Testimony Before the Health and Human Services Subcommittee, March 13, 2013, http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/uploadslfiles/Robert%20Alt%20Testimony%20House%20HHS%203-13-l3(Edited)%20(l )(1 ).pdf. See also , Robert Alt and Dan Greenberg, “Can Arkansas Escape from Medicaid Expansion if the Federal Government Breaks Its Commitments?”, Advance Arkansas Institute, April16, 2013, http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/uploadslfiles/hotelcalifornia print.pdf. (“In the ObamaCare case, NFIB v. Sebelius the Supreme Court explained that the federal government cannot condition the first dollar of existing Medicaid coverage upon a state’s decision whether to opt into Medicaid expansion; however, the Court did not say that those constraints upon the federal government would not apply after a state has opted into the expansion. Instead, the Court emphasized that changes made by ObamaCare were unforeseeable to the states, and that it would therefore be problematic to hold the states to conditions that they could not have anticipated changing. Notably, however, the prospect of the federal government changing a match rate is foreseeable enough that seven Justices joined opinions acknowledging the possibility that match rates could change, leaving a significant burden on the states.”)
79 See Adrianna Mcintyre & Karan Chhabra, “Arkansas is Fiddling Around with Obamacare. People Care. But is it Legal, and Does it Matter?” Project Millennial, March 2, 2013, http://projectrnillennial.org/2013/03/02/arkansas-is-fiddling-with-obamacare; and Adrianna Mcintyre & Karan Chhabra, “Arkansas Proposal Still Fiddly in Practice,” Project Millennial, March 9, 2013, http://projectmillennial.org/2013/03/09/arkansas-proposal-still-fiddly-inpracticel.
80 Healthcare Reform Roundtable (Part 1): Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, 111 th Cong. p. 60 (June 11, 2009) (testimony of Jonathan Gruber), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG111shrg50510/pdf/CHRG-111shrg50510.pdf.
81 Congressional Budget Office, Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Updated for the Recent Supreme Court Decision, July 2012, http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43472-07-24-2012-CoverageEstimates.pdf.
82 Executive Committee Meeting to Consider Health Care Reform: Before the S. Comm. on Finance, 111th Cong. pp. 376-377 (September 24, 2009) (Statement of Sen. Max Baucus), http://www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/downloadl?id=05b7b365-6abd-4bda-bd51-4885aa8b887f. The initial estimate of$50 billion was for a prior 1 0-year window, which included many years before the Medicaid expansion would take effect.
83 Healthcare Reform Roundtable (Part!): Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, 111th Cong. p. 60 (June 11, 2009) (testimony of Jonathan Gruber), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG111shrg50510/pdf/CHRG-111shrg50510.pdf.
84 Executive Session Affordable Health Choices Act: Before the S. Comm. on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, 111th Cong. video at 100:05 (July 14, 2009) (Statement of Sen. Jeff Bingaman), http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=0325b8b5-d9ad-a254-a443-6feccedeb06b.
85 Executive Committee Meeting to Consider Health Care Reform: Before the S. Comm. on Finance, 111th Cong. pp. 376-377 (September 24, 2009) (Statement of Sen. Max Baucus), http://www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/downloadl?id=05b7b365-6abd-4bda-bd51-4885aa8b887f.
86 Paul Krugman, “Welfare for the Medical-Industrial Complex,” New York Times, March 2, 2013, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/welfare-for-the-medical-industrial-complex/.
87 See Adrianna Mcintyre & Karan Chhabra, “Arkansas is Fiddling Around with Obamacare. People Care. But is it Legal, and Does it Matter?” Project Millennial, March 2, 2013, http://projectmillennial.org/2013/03/02/arkansas-is-fiddling-with-obamacare/.
88 Cindy Mann, Joan C. Alker, and David Barish, “Medicaid and State Budgets: Looking At The Facts,” May 2008, http://ccf.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Medicaid state-budgets-2008.pdf (“It is often reported that states spend, on average, almost 22 percent of their state budgets on Medicaid, but this figure can be misleading because it considers federal as well as state funds. On average, federal funds account for 56.2 percent of all Medicaid spending.”).
89 NFIB v. Sebelius, 132 S. Ct. 2566 (2012).
90 Kathleen Sebelius, “Letter to Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell,” Kaiser Health News, July 10, 2012, http://capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Secretary-Sebelius-Letter-to-the-Governors071012.pdf.
91 Michael F. Cannon, “50 Vetoes: How States Can Block the Obama Health Law,” Cato Institute White Paper, March 21, 2013, http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdti’50-vetoes-white-paper.pdf.
92 Douglas W. Elmendorf, “Letter to Rep. John Boehner on Repeal of Obamacare Act, as passed by the House of Representatives on July 11, 2012,” July 24, 2012, p. 13, http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43471-hr6079.pdf (Consumers in the individual market would be free to choose health plans that “cover a smaller share of enrollees’ costs for health care and a slightly narrower range of benefits.”).
93 See CONN. GEN. STAT. § 52-557b; 745 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 49/25; and TENN. CODE ANN. § 63-6-701.
94 “Medical Volunteers Not Free to Cross State Lines,” Associated Press, July 21, 2012, http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jul/21/medical-volunteers-not-free-to-cross-state-lines/.
95 Good Samaritan Law, MO. REV. STAT. § 537.037 (2012). See also Patrick Ishmael, “The Ayes Have It: Volunteer Health Services Act Passes,” Show-Me Daily, May 14, 2013, http://www.showmedaily.org/2013/05/the-ayes-have-it-volunteer-health-services-act-passes.html.
96 Shirley Svomy, “Could Mandatory Caps on Medical Malpractice Damages Harm Consumers?” Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 685, October 20, 2011, http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/could-mandatory-caps-medical-malpractice-damages-harm-consumers.
97 Michael F. Cannon, “Reforming Medical Malpractice Liability through Contract,” Cato Institute Working Paper, November 12, 2010, http//www.cato.org/publications/working-paper/reforming-medical-malpractice-liability-through-contract.
98 Michael F. Cannon, “Oregon’s Verdict on Medicaid,” National Review Online, July 7, 2011, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/271252/oregons-verdict-medicaid-michael-f-cannon.
99 See, for example, Sam Richardson, Aaron Carroll, and Austin Frakt, “More Medicaid Study Power Calculations (Our Rejected NEJM Letter),” The Incidental Economist (blog), June 13, 2013, http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/more-medicaid-study-power-calculations-our-rejected-nejm-letter/