Dr. David Bronner believes that Alabama is making a big mistake in not accepting the federal government’s pending offer relating to the state’s Medicaid program. I too am convinced that expanding the Medicaid program in our state is the proper course of action and is in the best interest of all Alabamians. Dr. Bronner, who is widely recognized as a highly respected financial expert, gives eight good reasons why Gov. Robert Bentley should change his mind and approve the expansion. Those reasons are:
• New Jobs – Georgia is projected to create 70,000 new jobs from Medicaid expansion. Since Alabama has half the population of Georgia, Medicaid expansion could possibly generate 35,000 new jobs for Alabama. Even if expansion of Medicaid only created 17,500 jobs, that would still be the largest influx of new jobs in Alabama’s history.
• Helps Counties – Adding $15-17 billion, about $1.5 billion per year, to Alabama’s economy is a big deal that helps all 67 counties with the federal government paying 90 percent of it.
• Good Return – If someone comes to you and says invest $1 billion ($771 million is supposed to be the number) and gives you $15 billion back, it is a great deal. I will take the deal all day long. Alabama pays nothing for $1.5 billion in each of 2014, 2015 and 2016. It is not until 2020 that Alabama pays its 10 percent share.
• Women & Kids – Alabama’s $771 million to $1 billion investment will generate more than $1.7 billion in tax revenue, create tens of thousands of jobs and help over 300,000 women and children in need. These are the Alabamians I am speaking up for.
• GOP on Board – Major critics of Obamacare were Republican governors — including Florida’s Rick Scott, Arizona’s Jan Brewer, Michigan’s Rick Snyder and New Jersey’s Chris Christie (who will likely be the Republican frontrunner in 2016) — and all have now agreed to take the money! Governor Scott said, “Looking at the numbers, there’s no way to pass this up.”
• Helps Black Belt – Everyone talks about wanting to help poor people in the Black Belt. Hello! That is where most of the new jobs would be going.
• Unmatched – Alabama invested $380 million in Mercedes for an initial 1,000 jobs, which has now grown to around 4,000 to 5,000 jobs. The state invested $180 million in Airbus, creating an initial 1,000 new jobs. No economic development investment in the world would bring the state 35,000 new jobs. Even if Alabama only received 10,000 to 15,000 new jobs that would still be the largest influx ever in Alabama’s history. Only government has the ability to produce jobs on that scale.
• Do the Right Thing – Get over it. Let’s do what is right and responsible for Alabama and its citizens. Alabama starts to lose federal funds and rejects thousands of new jobs starting January 1, 2014
I am in total agreement with Dr. Bronner. While I have great respect for Gov. Bentley, I believe he is making a mistake on the Medicaid expansion issue. Hopefully, the governor will reconsider his decision, change his mind and do what I believe is the right thing for the people of Alabama. I have to believe that our state will eventually wind up joining the ranks of the other states accepting the federal funds. It makes sense both economically and from a healthcare perspective.
Source: Birmingham News
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