Analysis: Ohio Medicaid expansion supports 54,000 jobs
Posted November 26, 2018 in Press Releases
As Ohio waits for permission from the federal government on new rules making it harder to access Medicaid expansion, new analysis shows that thanks to the health insurance program, the state will have almost 54,000 more full- and part-time jobs in 2019 than it would have if the state had not expanded Medicaid.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government provided support to states that chose to expand Medicaid coverage to people living just above the poverty line. With help from the National Education Association, Policy Matters Ohio developed a forecast of what the state economy will look like in 2019 with and without Medicaid expansion. The analysis was prepared using the Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) model and illustrates how eliminating or limiting Medicaid expansion would hurt Ohio’s economy. The analysis projects Ohio’s Medicaid expansion will add 53,914 full- and part-time jobs to the Ohio economy in 2019, compared to a scenario where Medicaid expansion is eliminated.
Medicaid expansion boosts disposable personal income by an estimated $2.7 billion and the state’s gross domestic product by $3 billion in that year. The greatest benefit comes through earnings, particularly in the health care industry sector. Earnings in that sector are higher by 2.41 percent ($1.1 billion) than they would be without Medicaid expansion.
Other industries also benefit when jobs in health care increase. Health care workers hired to serve the Medicaid expansion population will spend much of their money locally. That money will circulate throughout the economy and support other jobs. In 2019, wage and salary earnings of workers in construction will be 1.34 percent higher ($182 million) with Medicaid expansion than they would be without it, according to the analysis. Wage and salary earnings in retail trade will be .62 percent ($123 million) higher. State Gross Domestic Product would be boosted by nearly half a percent ($3 billion) thanks to Medicaid expansion.
“Health care is one of Ohio’s economic bright spots,” said Policy Matters Senior Project Director Wendy Patton. “The funding Ohio gets from the federal government to expand Medicaid is helping to power this engine.”
Health care is a major employer throughout Ohio – especially in our most urban and rural counties. In 2017, about one in four private sector workers had jobs in health care in rural Lawrence County and Scioto counties. In urban counties like Mahoning, Montgomery and Cuyahoga, nearly one in five percent of private sector workers are in health care.
“Medicaid expansion makes Ohio physically healthier, and it makes our economy healthier, too,” Patton said. “Adding barriers works against Ohio and Ohioans. The data shows it’s good for everyone.”