Medicaid and the Public Health Emergency: What People Are Saying
- BY Sarah Coffey
There are 21 million individuals on Medicaid right now who are not eligible for the program. This is diverting precious resources away from the truly needy and it’s costing taxpayers an extra $16 billion per month.
This is all thanks to a pandemic-era policy that promised states a bump in Medicaid program funding—but only on the condition that states would not remove ineligible people from their Medicaid rolls. The problem won’t end until the public health emergency ends—or until states unlock their handcuffs.
States can opt out of this extra federal bump in funding. Doing so would mean that states could immediately begin removing ineligible enrollees from the program, and those enrollees would have several alternatives available to them for health coverage, such as federally subsidized silver plans, private coverage on the exchange, or employer-sponsored plans.
The Foundation for Government Accountability has been driving the conversation on this issue in the media. Here’s what people are saying…
Wall Street Journal: “The Covid Medicaid Money Grab”
“Washington is driving up the national debt at a time when government spending is already fueling inflation, and the states are dealing with so many ineligible Medicaid recipients that the federal boost isn’t enough. We estimate that states are losing a combined $1.6 billion a month, on top of more than $14 billion in federal red ink. Eventually, taxpayers must pick up both tabs.”
Association of Mature American Citizens: “Biden Turning Medicaid into Welfare For All”
“The nation’s largest welfare program, Medicaid, is a total mess. We are fast approaching 100 million people on the program, mostly because of expansions to able-bodied adults. States spend one of every three state budget dollars on the program – and more than one of every five of those dollars is spent in error… If Medicaid were a person, they would be drowning.”
Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: “The Battle Over Work and Welfare”
“For the past two years, the Administration has repeatedly extended the national public-health emergency for no ostensible purpose other than to expand the welfare rolls. President Biden in September declared the pandemic over, but the Health and Human Services Department says it plans to extend the emergency until at least mid-April.”
Interviews with FGA Experts
“The Biden administration has used the pandemic to further their policy goals that they’ve had all along…so, they’ve taken Medicaid—the nation’s biggest welfare program—and they’ve hooked it to the public health emergency that they continue to reinstate, even as the president is saying the pandemic is over.”
“Not to be lost in any discussion about expanding Medicaid is that North Carolina is already extremely generous in what’s provided to folks who are in need. There are 320,000 people in North Carolina right now that have that free, federally funded private plans… if you expand Medicaid, by law they have to give that plan up and go on the government program… which would really be a shame.”
The Carolina Journal: “Should North Carolina expand Medicaid next year?”
“Costs of expansion may exceed budget projections especially over the long term. According to the Foundation for Government Accountability, costs per expansion beneficiary were $2,100 higher than the Department of Health and Human Services had forecast six years earlier. Also, more individuals enrolled than originally expected, a dynamic exacerbated by a federal law restricting states’ ability to disenroll beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic.”