Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Politics

March 19, 2013

IHA endorses Medicaid expansion

(Continued)

Knoxville —

• If Medicaid is so great, why do so many doctors currently refuse to see Medicaid patients?  

Medicaid is widely accepted in Iowa, primarily because many of our physicians are hospital employed.

• How will your payment system be set up and/or affected if the federal government fails to live up to its promises? 

That would depend on the extent of the failure and how the state responds to it.  However, the revenue stream for Medicaid expansion is firmly in place under the taxing and fee-collection provisions of the Affordable Care Act and IHA is confident the federal government will maintain the Medicaid program, just as it has for the last several decades.

• How can thousands of jobs created from increased dependency on the government in an industry saddled with so many regulations that have traditionally driven up costs?  

With more than $2 billion in new dollars coming to the state and thousands of Iowans gaining greater access to the health care system, the need for additional manpower (both in health care and in businesses that support it) seems apparent.

• How many of those jobs will actual be health care providers, and not merely additional employees hired to handle additional paperwork and requirements from the Medicaid expansion? 

We do not have that data, but with many formerly uninsured Iowans having greater access to services, we believe the need for additional providers (as well as jobs created indirectly) will be significant.

• Of the medical provider jobs that would come from expansion, how many would reach rural areas of Iowa? 

Again, the data we have only looks at the impact on a statewide basis and is not broken down by urban/rural.

• The Wall Street Journal indicated this week that, if states accept Medicaid expansion, it may be difficult for them to opt out of the program. Has the IHA considered the possibility of this happening and its possible effects?  

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