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AAI's Newest Report on Arkansas Works

aai-arkansas-works-01The state legislature's Health Reform Legislative Task Force met recently to discuss, among other things, the Stephen Group's evaluation of the costs and benefits of Arkansas Works -- which is, of course, the newest version of Medicaid expansion in Arkansas.

Last March, the Advance Arkansas Institute published an extensive analysis of the Stephen Group's findings on Arkansas Works. The Stephen Group concluded that ending the private option would impose hundreds of millions of dollars in costs onto the state budget and deprive the state of billions of dollars in federal matching funds.

There is no doubt that ending Medicaid expansion would create fiscal consequences for Arkansas’s budget. But AAI analyst Marc Kilmer writes that the Stephen Report provides an unrealistically optimistic view of the consequences of Medicaid expansion by:

  • Omitting any discussion of Medicaid expansion’s long-term impact on public finances;
  • Assuming that increased public borrowing and public spending will spur economic expansion; and
  • Ignoring Medicaid expansion’s actual economic history – namely, that it slams down the brakes on job creation and economic growth.

To read Kilmer's report, "Politically Toxic: Why the Stephen Report Provides No Antidote for the Private Option," click here.

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