Retired Justice Jim Jones is wrong about Medicaid expansion cost savings

Retired Justice Jim Jones is wrong about Medicaid expansion cost savings

by
Fred Birnbaum
September 10, 2018
Fred Birnbaum
Author Image
September 10, 2018

Justice Jim Jones recently wrote a commentary claiming that Medicaid expansion would provide a net cost savings to Idaho. Jones asserted, “As for cost, Milliman, a highly regarded actuarial firm often used by the state, recently reported that Medicaid expansion could actually save the state up to $15 million per year.”

Sorry Justice Jones, but the final Milliman report stated no such thing. There were seven versions of the Milliman report produced between June 15, the first draft, and July 19, the final version. Assumptions were pushed around in the drafts and more explanation is due the public as to why so many changes were made in the space of a month.

However, the final draft of the Milliman Client Report, dated July 19, 2018, page 1, states that Medicaid expansion will cost Idaho taxpayers $105.1 million over 10 years.

In summary, the costs over a 10-year horizon: Federal funds are $4.691 billion of borrowed money; state funds of $529.6 million minus state and local offsets of $424.5 million. So, the net state cost is $105.1 million plus $4.691 billion of borrowed federal money.

Justice Jones, show us the savings!

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