Whether or not to expand Medicaid will likely be one of the big questions North Carolina lawmakers will during the Spring legislative session.
Thirty-six states have voted to expand Medicaid. Virginia, our neighbor to the north, was one of five states to formally approve Medicaid expansion last year. All has not gone smoothly however. Because of higher than expected enrollments and lower cost savings, the state will need an additional $463 million to fund the program.
Program administrators insisted the shortfall wasn’t a result of Medicaid expansion but other factors. Such a statement is immaterial. The enrollment estimates, and cost savings estimates are necessitated by Medicaid expansion.
Virginia isn’t the only state that has struggling with higher than anticipated costs. A number of states that approved Medicaid expansion early on are now struggling to rein in costs. Massachusetts has taken steps to control Medicaid enrollment since it was consuming 40 percent of the state budget.
Important things to consider as North Carolina considers Medicaid expansion and works to ensure that our healthcare system provides services to the neediest among us.