AFP-VA: As Obama Campaigns for Northam, Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Busts State Budgets

Oct 16, 2017 by AFP

RICHMOND, VA – Ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Virginia to campaign for Lt. Gov. Northam, Americans for Prosperity is reminding Virginians of the former president’s disastrous health care law –and Northam’s support for expanding it in Virginia.

SHOT: Northam, McAuliffe Push Relentlessly for Medicaid Expansion, Claim Impending Savings

  • Northam Said Medicaid Expansion Would “Save Virginia Taxpayers Billions.” “I have joined a bipartisan coalition working to expand Medicaid including the Chamber of Commerce and Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. This will save Virginia taxpayers billions of dollars that otherwise would be sent to Maryland, Arizona, Florida and New Jersey.” (“Where They Stand On Medicaid Expansion,” Daily Press, 9/22/13)
  • Gov. McAuliffe Claims Expanding Medicaid Would Save The State Of Virginia More Than $73 Million Per Year. “If Republicans accept my amendment, we can expand health-care coverage to as many as 400,000 Virginians who are just one accident or illness away from financial ruin or death. We can create 30,000 jobs. We can save our state budget more than $73 million per year.” (Gov. Terry Mcauliffe, “Terry Mcauliffe: Republicans Are Out Of Excuses On Medicaid Expansion,” The Washington Post, 3/31/17)

CHASER: Expansion States Beg to Differ, With Exploding Costs, Squeezed Budgets

  • MASSACHUSETTS: As Federal Share of Medicaid Expansion Shrinks,Massachusetts seeks to move adults off Medicaid, limit drug coverage. “..[A]s the federal government no longer covers the total cost of expansion, Massachusetts said it needs to slim down the program because the costs are unsustainable. ‘At 40% of the commonwealth’s budget, MassHealth’s continued growth will constrain the state budget unless significant reforms are implemented and key aspects of the program are restructured,’ Marylou Sudders, the state’s health and human services secretary, said in a Sept. 20 letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma. (Virgil Dickson, Modern Healthcare, 27 September 2017).
  • OHIO: Kasich’s Obamacare expansion has enrolled more able-bodied adults than the state thought would ever sign up. This enrollment explosion has resulted in $2.7 billion of budget overruns in just the first two years of the program. The overruns have left lawmakers scrambling, as the state’s share of costs come due in the current biennium budget. Overruns also mean less funding for important budget priorities like public safety, education and the truly needy. (Akash Chougule, “John Kasich Gets All the Credit for Ohio’s Failed Obamacare Medicaid Expansion”, Forbes, 3/8/16).
    • Ohio $1.5 billion over budget for Medicaid Expansion program “In its first 18 months, Kasich’s Obamacare expansion enrolled 243,373 more people than projected and ran $1.5 billion over budget.” (Report: Three-fourths of Ohio Obamacare enrollees are on Medicaid, The Highland County Press, 9/16/15)
  • ARKANSAS: Arkansas’ Medicaid waiver application estimates the program’s cost to the state over the next five years at $730 million,although a version of the application that was released for public comment in May estimated the state’s cost at $705 million. The total cost of the program, including federal and state dollars, is estimated at $9.35 billion, compared to the $9.04 billion that was estimated in May. “This was driven by a recognition that certain costs were starting to go up across the board, primarily in the prescription drug area,” consultant Stephen Palmer told the task force Monday. (“Arkansas’ Medicaid Expansion Cost Rises $25 Million, Consultants Say,” Times Record, 7/12/16).
    • Government Accountability Office: Arkansas’ “Private Option” Medicaid Expansion plan $778 million over budget “GAO estimated that, by including these costs, the 3-year, nearly $4.0 billion spending limit that HHS approved for the state’s demonstration was approximately $778 million more than what the spending limit would have been if it was based on the state’s actual payment rates for services under the traditional Medicaid program,” the report said. (Medicaid Demonstrations: HHS’s Approval Process for Arkansas’s Medicaid Expansion Waiver Raises Cost Concerns, Government Accountability Office, 8/4/14)
  • ILLINOIS: Medicaid expansion ran $800 million over budget in the first year alone “Medicaid expansion in Ohio has run $1.5 billion over budget so far, Washington state has had to boost its biennial budget by $2.3 billion “solely due to higher-than-expected” expansion costs, and Illinois’ expansion ran $800 million over budget last year.” (Higher costs for Obamacare’s new Medicaid patients, CNBC, 6/13/15)
  • KENTUCKY:  Program running $1.8 billion over budget “By the end of the first year, more than 375,000 able-bodied adults enrolled into ObamaCare expansion, roughly double the number the state thought would ever sign up. As a result, Kentucky budget officials now estimate Medicaid expansion will cost $1.8 billion more than projected in fiscal years 2014 and 2015.” (The ObamaCare Expansion Enrollment Explosion, Foundation for Government Accountability, 4/20/15)
  • MICHIGAN: State faces budget shortfall of more than $100 million thanks to Medicaid Expansion “Michigan’s Medicaid program faces a budget shortfall this year of more than $100 million. That’s because a new tax on health insurance claims is not producing as much revenue as state officials expected.” (State lawmakers look to patch Medicaid shortfall, say long-term solution critical, Michigan Radio, 2/21/14)
  • WASHINGTON: State forced to increase budget by $2.3 billion in order to compensate for unexpected Medicaid Expansion costs “Medicaid expansion in Ohio has run $1.5 billion over budget so far, Washington state has had to boost its biennial budget by $2.3 billion “solely due to higher-than-expected” expansion costs, and Illinois’ expansion ran $800 million over budget last year.” (Higher costs for Obamacare’s new Medicaid patients, CNBC, 6/13/15)
  • WEST VIRGINIA: Enrollment 177% higher than expected “West Virginia has already boomed past the extra 93,000 people the state expected to enroll by 2020 under a Medicaid expansion plan ushered in by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in 2013.” (A look at the Medicaid expansion in West Virginia, Associated Press, 7/19/15)


Americans for Prosperity-Virginia State Director JC Hernandez issued the following statement:

“Ralph Northam continues to support Medicaid expansion even as we continue to see that it ruins state budgets. This is just another reason why Ralph Northam is wrong for the Commonwealth and why we’re urging Virginians to vote against him for governor.”


For further information or an interview, reach Lorenz Isidro at or (703) 887-7724. 

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