Preserving Medicaid: How to Stop Shortchanging Patients and Bankrupting Taxpayers

Summary of Study

If a family is dissatisfied with their child’s residentially assigned public school, they usually only have costly or limited options. Although Pennsylvania’s two private school choice programs awarded a total of 52,144 scholarships for K-12 students in the 2017-18 school year, 49,356 scholarships were denied to applicants because of arbitrary funding caps. What effects do the EITC and OSTC have on the Pennsylvania economy? And what economic impacts would expansions of these programs have on the state?

The preponderance of the most rigorous evidence suggests that access to private school choice programs could lead to better academic and behavioral outcomes, which could translate to higher lifetime earnings, higher high school graduation rates, and reductions in crime. Recent research also suggests that these kinds of academic and non-academic benefits of school choice could have substantial positive effects on state economies over time. Using the preponderance of evidence linking school choice to academic achievement, educational attainment, and crime reduction, this study forecasts the economic impacts of the two private school choice programs in Pennsylvania.

Applying cautious estimates from each outcome to the 52,144 participating students, this study finds that the two private school choice programs in Pennsylvania are expected to provide the following long-run economic benefits:

  • $1.6 billion in economic benefits from higher lifetime earnings associated with increases in academic achievement
  • $531 million from additional high school graduates
  • $59 million from reductions in the social costs associated with crimes

 A $100 million increase in scholarship funding could allow 102,085 students (including 49,941 new scholarship students) to use the programs in the 2020-21 school year, which could provide the following long-run economic benefits:

  • $3 billion in economic benefits from higher lifetime earnings associated with increases in academic achievement
  • $1 billion from additional high school graduates
  • $115 million from reductions in the social costs associated with crimes 

Read the full policy report here

Feature Charticle

Commonwealth Foundation

Findings:

  • Looking back just ten years, Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program cost state and federal taxpayers $20.2 billion per year.
  • By 2019, total Medicaid spending had ballooned to more than $32 billion per year, an increase of 60%.
  • This is nearly triple Pennsylvania’s total Medicaid spending in 2000.

Read the full policy report here