The “Economic Engine” that is Medicaid: talk about “kindergarten math!”

The Journal’s Winthrop Quigley is simply not liberal (or economically-ignorant enough) for our “friends” at New Mexico Voices for Children. I recently dissected Quigley’s (correct) assertion that Medicaid is NOT a significant economic boon for New Mexico’s economy. I gave Quigley credit for that while noting that the seminal Oregan Health Study found no significant health benefits from Medicaid expansion.

Of course, that is beyond the pale for Voices which seems to be based upon the view that any expansion of government is a good thing. So, Sharon Kayne, the group’s communications director wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the Albuquerque Journal defending the notion that Medicaid expansion is an economic boon for New Mexico. The piece boiled down to two basic points:

1) She personally benefited from a government program “similar” to Medicaid;
2) Every dollar NM spends on Medicaid brings in almost four dollars from the feds.

No consideration of opportunity costs, or the possible downsides of putting healthy, childless workers on welfare. Simply one data point and the usual “OPM” (Other People’s Money) argument. RGF at least looked at job growth in Medicaid expansion v. non-expansion states and found no discernible difference in terms of job creation despite all that “free money,” but why let pesky facts get in the way of a cash grab?