Shocker! Cost Of North Dakota Medicaid Expansion More Expensive Than Projected

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jul 21, 2015 7:00 PM
Shocker! Cost Of North Dakota Medicaid Expansion More Expensive Than Projected

Surprise! It seems the costs associated with the expansion of Medicaid in North Dakota are higher than what was originally projected. Yet, Republican North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s decision to expand this awful government-run health care program that’s an integral part of Obamacare is a “win-win” for him, according to Say Anything’s Rob Port:

The feds are picking up the tab for this expansion through 2016, at which point the states begin to take over. By 2020 the plan is for North Dakota to be paying for 10 percent of this “no cost” program.

Because of course there was always a cost to this. We, as federal taxpayers, have been picking up the tab the whole time. And starting in 2017 we’ll be picking up the cost as state taxpayers too.

Probably good, if cynical, politics for Dalrymple though. In the short term he doesn’t have to fight a political battle over denying the expansion, and in the long term he’s not going to be in office when the bulk of these costs get dumped on the state.

Here are the costs of expansion (via AP):

North Dakota's costs for expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are higher than had been projected.

The Department of Human Services has revised its cost estimates from $2.9 million to $8.2 million for the 2017 fiscal year. The agency says actual health care costs are higher than forecast when the state opted to expand the health program for the poor in 2013.

As I previously wrote, the program has been called a “humanitarian catastrophe.” Those who are uninsured actually fare better than those who have enrolled in Medicaid. Moreover, the expansion doesn’t include more poor American families, which was the basis for the program’s original mandate. Instead, the expansion includes mostly childless, able-bodied adults–half of which don’t work–and more than a third have a criminal background. It’s an expansion that siphons care away from the truly needy and forces legislatures to make cuts from other areas of their respective budgets. The costs of Medicaid are growing faster than state revenues, and some states have to cut two to three dollars from other areas of their budgets to save a buck in savings from Medicaid.  In the long term, Medicaid expansion is a budget buster.

So, North Dakota shouldn’t be shocked that costs have increased by millions in their case.