Naples, FL — A new report from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) predicts 55 million people could be added to the Medicaid rolls as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
This massive uptick in Medicaid spending and enrollment is driven both by new enrollment in the program—caused by the economic downturn—and restrictions on moving ineligible enrollees off the program created by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
As part of the relief package, Congress restricted states’ ability to remove enrollees who no longer qualify for the program, prohibited states from making changes to eligibility or enrollment procedures, and expanded eligibility to higher income thresholds. As a result of the ensuing enrollment explosion—and without any tools to reduce it—taxpayers should brace themselves for north of $440 billion in additional Medicaid costs.States will need to fund nearly $128 billion of those costs with state revenues, while federal taxpayers will be on the hook for the rest.
The paper shows that states that have elected to expand Medicaid will be harder hit by enrollment and cost overruns than states that have not expanded. In total, expansion states are expected to face an increase in Medicaid spending of nearly 80 percent, compared to less than 63 percent for states that rejected expansion.
“States are about to be consumed by a Medicaid tidal wave. This enrollment flood will totally overwhelm state budgets—especially those states that unwisely adopted Medicaid expansion,” said Nicholas Horton, coauthor of the report & research director at FGA. “Medicaid is at risk of entirely collapsing. Congress must act now to untie states’ hands and protect the truly needy.”
Read the full FGA report here.
The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and work reform. To learn more, visit TheFGA.org.