Alabama has one of the highest levels of obesity, infant mortality and diabetes, and second lowest life expectancy in the nation. Why then would our governor not be willing to accept expansion of Medicaid at no expense to the state?
Expansion of Medicaid in Alabama would have positive economic impacts as well as health benefits.
Most uninsured Alabamians who cannot afford to pay a private physician or clinic will go to the emergency room. Emergency room care is generally 10 times the cost of a visit to the local physician or clinic.
Why do they go to the emergency room? Because they cannot be denied care; even if they cannot pay.
Providing insurance through expanded Medicaid will help to reduce costs. Costs to whom?
Well, hospitals will not be able to stay in business if their patients cannot pay. In order to ensure they stay in business, hospitals must distribute the costs of care to all the paying customers.
We, the insured, ultimately pay for the uninsured who require health care. A second way in which expanding Medicaid will help the economy is that if hospitals/clinics/physicians are paid for all their services they will be able to hire more staff and thus improve care as well as increase the state tax base through increased employment.
So, please, ask the governor to stop playing politics and expand state Medicaid coverage.