Today the N&O published an article attempting to explain why NC should embrace Medicaid expansion, based on experiences from other states. The article fails, miserably.
The article’s author, a law professor at Wake Forest University, makes the claim that “The strong balance of objective evidence indicates that actual costs to states so far from expanding Medicaid are negligible or minor.”
A study that finds “there were no significant increases in spending from state funds as a result of the expansion.”
Small problem, though. The study referenced only examines Medicaid spending from 2010-2015, and federal dollars covered 100% of the cost of the new expansion enrollees thru 2016. The reason there was no significant state spending so far on Medicaid is because the feds covered all the costs during the time period examined. The study actually finds that “the expansion led to an 11.7 percent increase in overall spending on Medicaid, which was accompanied by a 12.2 percent increase in spending from federal funds.”
Of course the study found no significant increases in state spending on Medicaid expansion, because the states were not required to pay for it yet.
The article also readily admits that many expansion states have enrolled more people than they initially expected. But the author later goes on to object to claims that “each and every state that opted into ObamaCare expansion is facing a surge in Medicaid enrollment far higher than ever anticipated,” and declares “officials or agencies from Indiana, North Dakota, and Ohio have flatly stated (and documented) that expansion enrollment, or overall enrollment, has either fallen short of, or not substantially exceeded, expectations.”
So they admit that many states have seen enrollment higher than expectations, but that NC shouldn’t be concerned because some states have seen enrollment fall short of, or not substantially exceed, expectations.
Even more interesting, when you click the “North Dakota” link provided by the article’s author, you find this:
As has been the case in many states, the cost of expanding Medicaid has been higher than expected in North Dakota…Originally, the North Dakota Department of Human Services modeled their expansion plans on projections that the state would pay $2.9 million in Medicaid expansion costs during the first half of 2017. But by 2015, that projection stood at $8.2 million. Dalrymple’s final budget projected $30.5 million in state spending on Medicaid expansion from 2017 – 2019.
The author of an article claiming “evidence indicates that actual costs to states so far from expanding Medicaid are negligible or minor” actually links to an article that says the case in “many states” is that “the cost of expanding Medicaid has been higher than expected.”
Medicaid expansion advocates are so desperate, they will resort to gross distortions of the truth and can’t even cite sources without contradicting their own claims.