Townhall: For States, ObamaCare’s Day of Reckoning Is Here

meaningful-use-of-obamacareIt’s officially 2017. A new year, full of new beginnings and opportunities. But for taxpayers and the truly vulnerable in ObamaCare expansion states, it’s the continuation (and acceleration) of a nightmare. As of January 1, states are on the hook for 5 percent of the expansion’s costs. And with more enrollees than states expected to ever enroll, this fiscal nightmare will be even worse than expected, putting taxpayers and the truly needy at even greater risk. Continue reading

Townhall: AR’s “Private Option” Is A More Expensive Way to Expand ObamaCare

health-care-costs-660x400Experts have long raised questions about the budget gimmickry involved in the Obama administration’s approval of Arkansas’ Obamacare expansion waiver. The Government Accountability Office even warned that the administration and Arkansas cooked the books to secure the waiver. But now, the state’s own evaluation of the program – spearheaded by one of the program’s architects – shows just how badly Arkansas got it wrong. Continue reading

IL Policy: Hundreds on Waiting List Die Since ObamaCare Expansion

wheel-chairThe Illinois General Assembly opted to expand Medicaid through Obamacare in May 2013. This expansion created a new Medicaid category for able-bodied adults ages 19-64 with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

But the Medicaid program was designed to serve the truly vulnerable – the aged, the blind and the disabled – and expansion critics have long warned that creating a new welfare class would prioritize able-bodied adults and put more vulnerable people at risk by redirecting limited resources. Now, newly obtained data from the Illinois Department of Human Services, or DHS, confirm these fears.

According to documents provided by the department, 752 Illinoisans on the state’s Medicaid waiting list have died awaiting needed care since the General Assembly voted to accept the Obamacare expansion for able-bodied adults. That’s 18 deaths each month, on average, since the expansion was authorized. Continue reading

IL Policy: Illinois Waives Food Stamp Work Requirement, Eating Up Funds for Truly Needy

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Welfare programs such as food stamps should offer individuals a hand up – temporary assistance until they are able to get back on their feet – rather than becoming a way of life. Work requirements are an important part of this prescription. Without work requirements, adults can become trapped in the welfare system, which robs them of opportunity. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening in Illinois today.

Federal welfare legislation signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1996 mandates that able-bodied adults ages 18-49 without dependents must work in order to receive food-stamp benefits. These adults are required to work at least 20 hours per week in order to qualify for food-stamp welfare. If they don’t meet these requirements, their eligibility is limited to three months (in a three-year period).

Most states are enforcing these federal requirements to help these adults get back to work and free up limited resources for those who need them most. Unfortunately, Illinois is not one of these states. Continue reading

Fox News covers FGA’s ObamaCare expansion report

og-fn-foxnewsFox News covered our new report on ObamaCare expansion’s enrollment crisis. Here’s a snippet:

Adult enrollment in ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion has more than doubled expectations in states across the country — pointing to ballooning costs that threaten budget dollars for priorities like education and infrastructure, according to a report released Wednesday by The Foundation for Government Accountability.

Newly obtained data from 24 of the 29 states with Medicaid expansions show at least 11.5 million able-bodied adults have enrolled. The FGA says adult enrollment for all these states exceeds projections, by an average of 110 percent. Some states have signed up more than four times as many adults as they expected would enroll. Continue reading

FGA Report: ObamaCare Expansion States More Than Double Enrollment Projections

health-care-costs-660x400Today, the Foundation for Government Accountability released a new report, authored by myself and Jonathan Ingram. We surveyed every ObamaCare expansion state, comparing enrollment projections to actual enrollment.

Here’s what we found:

Altogether, 24 states that accepted ObamaCare’s expansion released enrollment projections in advance and have since reported at least one year of enrollment data. In total, these 24 states promised that “only” 5.5 million adults would ever sign up for ObamaCare expansion. However, actual sign-ups have surpassed these projections – and not just by a little bit. Continue reading

Illinois Policy: IL’s ObamaCare Expansion Enrollment Continues To Climb

Illinois was one of the first states in the nation to accept ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. But since its launch, the program has spiraled out of control, blowing through enrollment projections and putting Illinois’ most vulnerable residents at risk.

In fact, the very same day the General Assembly voted to implement ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion two years early in Cook County, lawmakers also voted to implement cuts to traditional Medicaid, costing Jake Chalkey of Streator, Ill., access to critical seizure medication.

As enrollment continues to climb, these cuts may be a sign of what’s to come. Continue reading

Townhall: Where Are All The ObamaCare Jobs?

For years, hospital lobbyists have promised that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion would kick start states’ economies and produce thousands of new jobs. (Expanding welfare always stimulates the economy, right?)

This piece of their Obamacare sales pitch is critical because, according to their calculations, these new jobs will generate the necessary revenue to pay for states’ share of the Obamacare expansion costs. The Arkansas Hospital Association, for example, made a similar guarantee, promising that most of the state’s share would be covered by new tax revenue generated by new jobs.

But now that expansion has been up-and-running for more than two years, the data is starting to paint a clearer picture of the real economic impact. And, believe it or not, Obamacare expansion isn’t living up to the hype. Continue reading

Forbes: NE’s Medicaid Expansion Plan Puts Truly Needy In Danger

Co-authored by Nic Horton, Jonathan Ingram, and Josh Archambault

Nebraska legislators are currently considering another plan to bring Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion to the Cornhusker state. The proposal would create a new welfare program, dubbed the “Transitional Health Insurance Program,” for more than 130,000 able-bodied adults, costing taxpayers nearly $15 billion over the next ten years.

Nebraska policymakers have rejected all previous attempts to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. With expansion costs exploding in other states and federal funding now on the chopping block, it’s clear that their decision was the right one. And nothing in this new proposal should give them reason to reconsider. In fact, the latest plan, modeled after Arkansas’ “Private Option,” is Nebraska’s worst expansion proposal yet.

This model has failed to deliver on its promises everywhere it has been tried and would cost taxpayers billions of dollars more than a traditional expansion. In fact, Iowa has already scrapped its own version of this model and Arkansas’ expansion is scheduled by law to terminate later this year. Worse yet, the plan would also prioritize welfare for this new class of able-bodied adults over services for the truly needy. Continue reading

Forbes: UT Proposes Sick Tax To Pay For ObamaCare

By  Nic Horton, Jonathan Ingram, and Josh Archambault Mr. Horton is a Policy Impact Specialist, Mr. Ingram Research Director, and Mr. Archambault a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability

After the legislature blocked his Obamacare Medicaid expansion plans in 2014 and 2015, Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) began working with legislative leaders to negotiate some kind of “compromise” to expand the program to more than 100,000 able-bodied adults. Although the deal is being negotiated in secret, some details have been leaked to the public.

According to the few specifics made public, the biggest component of the negotiated framework is to levy a new “assessment” on medical providers in Utah to help pay for the state’s share of expansion. But the so-called assessment is simply a new Obamacare tax on the sick that will not only raise health care costs for all Utahns, but add significantly to the national debt. Continue reading