The disastrous Medicaid Expansion – an update

My original comments yesterday are here. In this post I’ll add some additional information – new data, but no new conclusions, just more confirmation of the harm the ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion has caused.

For background, please read Fact check: ObamaCare does hurt our neediest neighbors. The take-away there is that for traditional Medicaid the states are reimbursed by the Feds at 55% and the Expansion at 100% originally, now 95% this year. So if a state is running out of money, which program do you think it would cut? You don’t need to be familiar with public-choice theory to know that government takes care of itself first. My last post shows that the truly needy were left out in Ohio, despite the Governor’s preening moralism.

More from Ohio. As of May 2017 it had added more than 725,000 able-bodied, childless, and working-age people to the state’s Medicaid Expansion rolls. The budget called for no more than 450,000 enrollees. Expenditures are now nearly $7 billion over budget. All this at a cost of more than 34,000 ABD (aged, blind, or disabled) who no longer qualify under guidelines revised to cope with fiscal pressures. Ohio’s response to the crisis is to stop enrolling new people into the Expansion as of May 2018. Until then, of course, things will continue to get worse and more ABD will suffer. The cynical Democrats who crafted ObamaCare callously wanted to get as far to “single-payer” as they could, the cost in human suffering and death be damned.

In Arkansas things are no different. In early 2015 when the New Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, took office following the Democrat who allowed Medicaid Expansion, Expansion rolls stood at 250,000. Barely two years later they stand at a budget-busting 325,000. Nearly half of the able-bodied, working-age, childless enrollees do not work. It appears that Arkansas will adopt a work requirement, but freezing new Expansion enrollment has failed in the state Senate. More details here.

Finally a few of the ‘moderate’ Democrats in the Senate are defending their support of the Expansion by dissembling that it helps curb the opioid epidemic. Skeptics will note that free access to prescribed opioids is not always helpful. According to the executive director of Physicians Responsible for Opioid Prescribing, “overprescribing of opioids is fueling the epidemic.” No surprise that Ohio is facing a huge increase in opioid deaths. “The CDC’s own study of Washington State showed that a person on Medicaid was 5.7 times more likely to die an opioid-related death than someone not on Medicaid.” (Sources of quotations here.)    

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)

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