Columbia, SC – By 2020, nearly 44,000 jobs could be created if South Carolina participates in the federal Medicaid expansion plan included in the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by researchers at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.
“Medicaid expansion will improve the health of the state and significantly boost the state’s economy,” said Thornton Kirby, SCHA president and chief executive officer. “It’s a win-win for South Carolina. The economic activity created by adding $11.2 billion in federal spending to South Carolina’s economy will generate nearly $644 million in state revenue over seven years. And, at a cost of $635 million to the state, Medicaid expansion would result in a net gain.”
Researchers found that jobs created by the Medicaid expansion would be located throughout the state. These new jobs would add an estimated $1.5 billion in labor income and $3.3 billion in state economic activity by 2020.
“Accepting the expansion would be a good deal for South Carolinians,” said Charles D. Beaman Jr., South Carolina Hospital Association Board of Trustees chairman and Palmetto Health chief executive officer. “There is a strong economic case for expansion, coupled with an important health benefit to the newly enrolled. Having health insurance makes a difference for individuals and families, and these benefits are shared by the business community through a strong, healthy workforce.”
An estimated 236,000 uninsured South Carolinians are expected to enroll in Medicaid under the expansion; significantly reducing the number of the uninsured citizens in the state. For the first three years (2014-2016), the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for those newly-eligible for Medicaid, gradually decreasing to 90 percent in 2020 and beyond.
A direct comparison of additional state tax revenue to additional state costs resulting from the required state match and administrative costs shows that South Carolina is projected to generate a surplus of approximately $9 million from 2014 through 2020 if the state opts in to the Medicaid expansion.
About the methodology
The economic impact estimates generated in this report are calculated using input-output analysis, the standard methodology for evaluating economic changes to local areas used by regional economists across the country. All assumptions that were made regarding projected increases in state costs and projected increases in federal funding were taken from the April 2012 Milliman study prepared for the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
About the South Carolina Hospital Association
Founded in 1921, the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state’s hospitals and healthcare systems. Based in Columbia, SCHA works with its members to improve access, quality, and cost-effectiveness of health care for all South Carolinians. The state’s hospitals and healthcare systems employ more than 70,000 persons statewide.
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