A new study finds that Tennessee families will be adversely affected by Governor Bill Haslam’s plan to expand Medicaid.
According to our study, published by Federalism in Action, Medicaid expansion will have several negative economic consequences in the Volunteer State. These include declining personal incomes for Tennesseans, as well as a shrinking of the state’s private sector as a whole. “Policymakers should carefully reconsider Governor Haslam’s proposal to expand Medicaid,” said State Budget Solutions (SBS) CEO J. Scott Moody. “It will put the state’s long-run economic growth on a downward trajectory, resulting in a decline in personal income growth of $3.6 billion.”
Lindsay Boyd, Policy Director of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, also affirms the study’s findings. “Medicaid was a program designed to help address the needs of the poorest among us, but when that same program leads to significant loss of income, puts Tennesseans out of work, and diminishes opportunities to find new jobs, the program has failed,” Boyd asserts.
Here’s a question: If the engine of your car stopped working, what would you do? Would you (a) Take it to a mechanic and get it fixed, or (b) Get a new paint job? While most of us would clearly take our automobiles to be serviced in the event of engine failure, the same basic question is clearly more puzzling for government. What do bureaucrats do when their big-government programs fail? Unfortunately, taxpayers know the answer. As with almost every major government program, government’s go-to solution for addressing failure is to throw more tax dollars at it. But as Albert Einstein so eloquently reminded us, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If this is true, our bureaucrats should all be wearing straight jackets. As we see with the continued erosion of care under the expansion of Medicaid, these sorts of surface repairs keep Americans trapped in a car that might appear desirable, but can’t take us anywhere.
Just consider the current state of our Medicaid program. Many on the left continue to say that every state should expand Medicaid, because it‘s free money, since the federal government is subsidizing it. The complete ignorance of basic economics aside, Medicaid has proven to be a nearly useless form of ”insuring” our nation’s most vulnerable. As the Beacon Center has demonstrated in the past, studies show that those on Medicaid have no better health outcomes than those without insurance at all. When the Obama administration claims to provide healthcare to all Americans, does that not mean access? Or is it only a façade? When a startling one-third of physicians across the country now claim they will not accept new Medicaid enrollees, the patient is left wondering what good this expanded program does them. Weren’t Americans promised quality, affordable health insurance—even to the poorest among us? Instead of applying new coats of paint to a failing program, our government should instead insist on repairing the system with new parts that can cure, rather than perpetually treat, our healthcare crisis.
The first step is acknowledging that there is a problem. While Democrats and some Republicans would rather bury their heads in the sand, the truth is that our most vulnerable citizens aren’t getting the care that they were promised. Instead, government is exasperating the problem with false claims that Medicaid expansion means access to care for millions of poor patients, As with the metaphor of a broken vehicle, we know where this sort of “fix” will lead us: millions of expectant patients wake up to a system that mislead them, keeps them clamoring for access to care, and takes taxpayers nowhere but down a path of socio-economic disaster. Let’s stop expanding a program that doesn’t work with money that we don’t have, and instead pursue real solutions that may actually make substantive differences in peoples’ lives.
-Mark CunninghamNovember 12th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Sign Up Now
Statement from Justin Owen on Amendments 2 and 3:
The Beacon Center applauds Tennessee voters for approving both amendments we endorsed, and because of that, the future of Tennessee looks brighter than ever.
Amendment 2 led to an important and spirited discussion, with valid points made by both sides as we worked to resolve the constitutional quagmire over how to select state judges. The vote on Amendment 2 shows that Tennesseans support our Founding Fathers’ view of the judiciary: able to independently uphold the rule of law, while still accountable to the people via their elected representatives.
The vote on Amendment 3 puts the final nail in the coffin of a state income tax, ensuring that Tennesseans, their children, and their grandchildren can keep more of their hard-earned money. We would like to give a special thanks to Senator Brian Kelsey for leading the charge to ensure that Tennessee forever remains income tax-free.November 5th, 2014 | Commentary, Feature