Medicaid costs have been out of control for years. Now we find that the state’s projected shortfall has grown much worse, spiking by $135 million. The total shortfall estimate for the year is now an estimated $248 million.
According to Channel 11 News: “Officials said the greater shortfall forecast was caused by overestimating the amount of federal receipts to North Carolina due to an error in the forecasting model.”
Funny how those government forecasting models always overstate income and underestimate costs.
The station reports that Medicaid burns through about $13 billion in state and federal funds a year on health coverage for more than 1.5 million North Carolina residents.
And even more shocking news happened to emerge today: a top-quality study, The Oregon Experiment — Effects of Medicaid on Clinical Outcomes, showed that Medicaid had little or no effect on health.
Oregon had the opportunity to enroll 10,000 more people into Medicaid. With that, the state randomly assigned program applicants to receive or not receive Medicaid. That makes this study “the only randomized, controlled study ever conducted on the effects of having health insurance versus no health insurance. Randomized, controlled studies are the gold standard of such research,” according to one report.
The result: Medicaid expansion “generated no significant improvement in measured physical health outcomes.” For actual health problems, the people outside of the program did as well as those in the program.
Those in the program reported slightly less financial strain and depression, but Medicaid is a very expensive way to provide such marginal help.
There’s been a lot of wailing about recent moves to rein in Medicaid costs. These two news stories show the budget problems real, and the benefits dubious. This should hearten state leaders who are trying to rein in the program.