The Environment for RI’s Health Benefit Exchange & Medicaid Expansion
The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity has been collecting reasons not to pursue a “dependency portal” unified infrastructure, marketing all government services through the health benefits exchange currently in the design phase. But there are plenty of reasons to resist the exchange and the related expansion of Medicaid eligibility without regard to the cutting edge of the entitlement state.
Both the exchange — which will subsidize health insurance for families up to 400% of the poverty level (around $90,000 for a family of four) — and the Medicaid expansion are anticipated to greatly increase access to health insurance and use of medical services. Indeed, that’s the point. The problem is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA; “ObamaCare”) itself does nothing to expand the supply of doctors, and Rhode Island, specifically, has taken no steps to make up for the shortcoming.
In other words, beyond the direct costs to Rhode Islanders, through state government revenue, will be a cost in the health of the local health care market. The state already suffers from high costs and burdensome state mandates. That’s why some charts and graphics by Avik Roy layer in a disconcerting additional consideration.
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