Medicaid Expansion Crushes State Budgets

Dave TrabertTax & SpendingLeave a Comment

So far, Kansas has avoided Medicaid expansion under Obamacare and whether one’s focus is on avoiding more tax increases or diversion of funding for education and other services, that’s a very good thing.  A new study published by the Foundation for Government Accountability explains How Obamacare is Bankrupting Taxpayers and includes these key findings:

  • States that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare have signed up more than twice as many able-bodied adults as promised.
  • Obamacare expansion per-person costs exceeded original estimates by 76 percent.
  • The enrollment explosion, combined with higher per-person costs, has led to cost overruns of 157 percent.

The Kansas Health Institute has estimated Medicaid expansion in Kansas would cost $1.1 billion over ten years, assuming the federal subsidy doesn’t decline as many people in Washington are predicting.  Just that one major variable along with the cost overrun experience wherever expansion has occurred would place enormous strain on a state budget that is already out of balance in FY 2020.  And the budget hole becomes exponentially worse if the Legislature decides to pay the Supreme Court’s school funding ransom of about $600 million per year.

The Legislature failed to override Governor Brownback’s veto of Medicaid expansion last year.  No expansion proposals have been put forth yet this year but rumors persist that one might be in the works.  For the sake of an already over-taxed populace and agencies facing double-digit cutbacks if the school lawyers get their funding demands, here’s hoping Kansas continues to resist all forms of Medicaid expansion.

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