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February 12, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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Expanding Medicaid

Expanding Medicaid is a smart and easy decision

Lance Dickie’s recent column on Medicaid is right on the mark! [“Medicaid expansion: Do the math,” Opinion, Feb. 1] Washington has the opportunity to remedy a historic gap in Medicaid by providing health-care coverage to many uninsured residents, improving the financial solvency of hospitals, and boosting local economies. It is a great deal for Washingtonians.

Those of us with private insurance pay dearly each year in higher premiums to cover emergency hospital care for our poorest people with no access to health insurance.

Under the new health-care law, states can remedy the Medicaid gap for free for the first three years. In later years, the state will never pay more than 10 percent of the cost of this coverage, making it the best deal the state has ever gotten: not only health care for thousands, but billions in new money added to the state’s economy, showing up in paychecks, retail spending and state tax revenues.

We have a rare opportunity to fill the Medicaid gap with eye-popping leverage of federal funds. This is not a hard decision. It is the right thing to do and it is clearly the smart thing to do.

--Greg Dallaire, Seattle