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Report Shows Medicaid Expansion Would Create Jobs, Stimulate Utah Economy

A new report shows that Utah’s economy would benefit from an expansion of Medicaid, creating thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity. 

The report comes from the national nonprofit organization Families USA and Utah Health Policy Project.  UHPP Director Judi Hilman told KUER an expansion of Medicaid will allow millions of federal dollars to flow into Utah, stimulating the economy.

“Those are dollars spent in the health care sector, in most cases supporting, or in some cases creating jobs,” said Hilman, “People paid in those jobs go out and spend money, and what you have is a multiplier effect where all of that economic activity that’s generated from those jobs in turn brings revenue back to the state coffers in the form of tax revenue.”

The report estimates spending related to a Medicaid expansion in one year would create 5,900 new jobs, generating $670 million in additional economic activity.  

“When you do all the math, and you calculate the economic impact of the expansion, plus the public health impacts, all of that translates to a net gain or a net savings to the state,” said Hilman.

A state-commissioned cost-benefit analysis of a Medicaid expansion is expected early next week.  State lawmakers have held off on debating the subject until that study is released.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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