Hey Gov. Bentley! Here's an easy way to add jobs in Alabama. The Medicaid expansion portion of the Affordable Care Act could create up to 62,000 new jobs in Alabama (PDF) – with the bulk of the money coming from the Federal government. Could the expected refusal of the GOP legislative supermajority to expand health insurance access to some of the poorest residents cost the party votes in 2014?
In a 2007 study, researchers at Stanford University argue that Federal stimulus spending – including matching Medicaid funds (the amount the feds contribute compared to the states) increases employment by 3.8 job years – 3.2 of which are outside government, health, & education sectors. Furthermore, the study calculates that jobs created by this spending have a cost-per-job of $26,000.
Now, let's compare the ACA plan to expand Medicaid (and cover people who now find affordable health care out of reach) with other schemes by the legislature to encourage job creation:
- Mercedes Plant: Alabama promised $300 million in incentives for a promise of 1500 jobs. Cost: $200,000 per job.
- Carpenter Technology in Limestone County received $98 million in incentives for a promised 240 jobs. Cost: $408k per job.
- Airbus – the recently announced deal in Mobile totaled $158.5 million in state and local incentives for 1000 permanent jobs. Cost: $158,500/job.
Yes, each of these deals comes with spinoff jobs – local restaurants, construction workers, car dealers, etc. etc. But so does Medicaid expansion! Compare the cost per job with Medicaid expansion – $26,000 – with any of these budget-busters listed above.
Why is it that Alabama's political leaders are so much more interested in handing out wads of free money to corporations and so indifferent to the financial and health struggles of its own citizens?
And how is it that the vast majority of these guys flaunt their so-called “Christian beliefs” at every opportunity – using them to justify everything from “anti-Sharia Law legislation” to decreased pay for teachers.
Hello… Senators McGill, Beason, Rep. Hubbard, Gov. Bentley, etc…. check the dictionary. When Jesus used the phrase “suffer the children,” He wasn't planning to increase their suffering, but hoping they would draw near so He could ameliorate it. Yeah. Words have more than one meaning – and you can't make up your own.
Medicaid expansion adds jobs and relieves suffering. It's a win/win. So of course, the Alabama GOP will oppose it.
hat tip to Greg Varner for pointing out this study….