Oklahoma's surplus revenue not likely to last for long
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When Texas officials rejected Medicaid expansion, they estimated it would cost $27 billion in additional state funding over a decade. That's roughly equal to the two-year shortfall facing Texas lawmakers in 2011, which forced cuts of $5.3 billion from schools and the draining of $3.2 billion from the state's rainy day fund. Does anyone doubt a similar-sized bill for Medicaid expansion would not have the same impact over time?
Ironically, some seeking new funds for Oklahoma schools also endorse Medicaid expansion. Financial reality and past experience suggest those two goals are largely incompatible. Achieving the latter makes the former all but impossible.
Without meaningful policy changes, we're nearing the point where most growth in state revenue will be consumed by Medicaid/welfare spending rather than schools, roads and public safety. This would benefit the low-income only so long as they don't need to read or write to apply for aid, travel a road to the hospital, or need help after being mugged on the way.
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