Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Taking Toll on State Budgets

Socialism needs as many people as possible to rely on the government for their needs, including their healthcare. One way of helping to accomplish this goal is to expand the qualifications for Medicaid allowing millions of more people to enroll for their government healthcare. A number of states were hesitant to comply with the expansion, knowing what it would do to their budgets. In March 2012, the Heritage Foundation calculated those costs, state by state, using data from the Congressional Budget Office, Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission. Those estimates for the increased costs of Medicaid expansion ranged from $5 million for New Jersey for the years 2014-2022 to as much as $9.011 billion for California. The estimates for New York was $7,694 billion; Arizona $2.805 billion and Illinois $2.338 billion. Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas also had estimates of over $1 billion. Another 11 states had estimates ranging from $500 million to $999 million for the same period. All toll, the 2012 estimates add up to a total of $41.816 billion. There are two things to consider concerning the estimated costs to states for Medicaid expansion. First, many states are finding more people signing up for Medicaid under the expansion than was estimated in 2012. Thus the numbers for many states are lower than what they are starting to experience. However, Nina Owcharenko, an expert that works with the Heritage Foundation warns:

“As with most new government programs, original estimates are likely not the true full cost.”

In California, the LA Times reported:

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“Enrollment is expected to exceed previous estimates by 1.4 million, and administration officials said it would cost the state $1.2 billion more than originally thought.”

Secondly, most states are relying on the promises of the federal government to provide federal funding to help the states pay for the increases. Owcharenko again warns that the promises of federal funding are not iron clad and air tight promises and that there is no guarantee that the federal government will reimburse them for the full amount promised. The results could be devastating to many states that are already fighting huge deficits. Americans could end up paying more in state and federal taxes to pay for the socialist expansion of Medicaid. The only other salvation for state budgets is that fewer than half of America’s doctors accept Medicaid patients. In 2009, prior to Obamacare taking effect, 55.4% of the nation’s doctors accepted Medicaid patients. In a poll released earlier this month, that figure had dropped to only 45.7% acceptance of Medicaid patients. The acceptance rate varied city by city within the country. For example, in Boston 73% of the doctors accepted Medicaid patients (the highest city in the poll) and in Dallas (the lowest city in the poll) only 23% of the doctors accepted Medicaid patients. The fewer the doctors that accept Medicaid, the cheaper it will be for the state budgets. That leaves millions of Americans, mostly senior citizens without any coverage. The group that needs the most healthcare coverage could end up being the group with the least coverage. But then, that fits in with Obama’s plan to get rid of the people that he feels drain the system of needed resources. Additionally, more of the elderly are conservative and vote Republican, so it only makes sense from his point of view to help expedite the elimination of that particular group of GOP voters, doesn’t it? Now put this altogether. Obama wants to eliminate states’ rights in favor of an all-powerful and controlling federal government. By expanding the qualifications for Medicaid and then not fully funding the states for the additional coverages, Obama can force more states into bankruptcy, leading to more federal control. Plus, it could lead to the hastened demise of millions of seniors that generally vote Republican, thus killing two birds with one expansion.

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