Many people don’t realize the degree to which expansion of Medicaid will cause a huge boom for Alabama’s economy. By taking full advantage of this important federal program, our state will receive about a 20 to 1 return in federal dollars for each state dollar spent.
Amazingly, this will infuse our economy over the first six years with $28 billion in increased business activity, $17 billion added to the state's gross domestic product, and $10 billion added to the wages of Alabama workers. It will create 30,000 new, high-paying jobs! Many of these new jobs will be in innovative areas like precision medicine, genomics, and telemedicine – bringing the medical advances of tomorrow to our doorstep today.
And what about that one dollar the state will need to spend to get 20 federal dollars back? The states that have already expanded Medicaid find that the economic stimulus from the expansion more than pays for the state’s share through the higher state revenues that are generated.
Medicaid expansion is not just the right thing to do for the 331,000 working Alabamians, veterans, children, elderly, and disabled who will receive health insurance that they currently cannot afford, it’s the right thing to do for our economy.
Companies looking to expand into Alabama look very closely at how many workers are trained and available for work. Currently, 600,000 Alabamians are either unemployed or work in lower paying jobs that are below the employee’s skill level (called underemployment), and another 100,000 commutes for work outside the state. So the labor pool is there if they are ready and trained in the skills needed for new jobs that could locate here.
Walt’s Alabama Education Lottery will generate $300 million per year for education and other workforce training. Whether through college, career tech training, apprenticeships, or other pathways to high paying jobs, the Alabama Education Lottery will dramatically transform Alabama’s workforce readiness by better preparing students of all grades while adding new opportunities for high school graduates.
A key factor for companies looking to locate to a particular state is the condition of the transportation infrastructure. Without good roads and bridges, companies are concerned that (1) delayed transportation of raw materials will slow down production, (2) that they cannot reliably ship their products out, (3) that workers won’t be willing to commute, and (4) that customers won’t find them.
Alabama’s roads and bridges are in a disgraceful state of repair. A third of Alabama’s serious traffic accidents are caused by defective road conditions, our roads grade very poorly, and 20% of bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to repair our roads leading to more economic success.