A report produced by the Cone Health Foundation on the effects of Medicaid expansion in North Carolina revealed an updated economic outlook for the Tar Heel State.
The effects listed in the report operate under the assumption that Medicaid expansion in North Carolina would take effect starting in November of 2019. The Republican-led General Assembly chose against expansion, so these numbers represent what might have been.
The potential impact on the North Carolina economy is stark: Cone Health Foundation models point to an increase of total business activity of some $11.7 billion over three years; Gross State Product would outpace the status quo by $2.9 billion by 2022 and the state would collect over $500 million in additional tax revenue, with counties earning $106 million more due to increased economic activity.
The benefits of Medicaid expansion would ripple across the entire state, in sectors beyond health care. In an illustration, the study shows the flow of money and the multiplier effect at play: increased federal money leads to state Medicaid spending, increasing money for health care providers. Employees at those providers use their pay to stimulate other local businesses, and the various industries which build and supply hospitals also get a boost.
The collective benefits of Medicaid expansion would result in approximately 40,000 new jobs in North Carolina – with half in the health care sector.
Though expansion would create more jobs in larger counties, “job growth will occur in all corners of the state,” the economic analysis section concludes.