To The Daily Sun,
State Rep. Peter Spanos is wrong about the effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on state finances. In a letter to the editor he said, "Passage of the Affordable Care Act has had a debilitating effect on state economies since its inception."
According to a recent report from the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, those states that under the ACA completely implemented Medicaid expansion "found net fiscal gains, with state savings and revenues exceeding increased state costs." Since the federal government is paying 100 percent of the costs for now, that only makes sense.
Because we are a donor state, having in excess of $800 million of our income tax dollars coming back into New Hampshire will have a very positive effect on our economy. In addition, under the ACA, the inflation rate of health insurance premiums has dropped considerably which also benefits us in New Hampshire. And, the data tells us that having insurance saves lives and makes people healthier. When the population is healthier society benefits by reducing medical costs and increasing productivity.
He was also wrong when he called the cost-shifting effects of the ACA "unfair". According to Rep, Spanos, it's unfair that "the ACA shifts costs from the non- and under-insured to the non-subsidized full-payers" burdening working Americans.
First, he incorrectly assumes all working Americans had health insurance. Second, he makes it seem like cost-shifting is a bad thing. Insurance exists to shift costs. Having medical insurance prevents adverse medical events from bankrupting people who get sick or injured by spreading medical costs over large populations. Some people get more than they put in and most others less. All forms of insurance spread costs over a large population to keep individual costs affordable.
Insured Americans pay for all the uncompensated care that is provided anyway. Hospitals can't give care away so they have to shift the costs and increase what other payers pay when they provide uncompensated care. If everyone has insurance, hospitals need provide no uncompensated care.
The Business & Industry Association and the N.H. Hospital Association support the ACA because Obamacare is working.