Arkansas’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion has been a costly misadventure. The expansion has been so misguided in fact, that lawmakers voted earlier this year to end it, effective December 31, 2016.
That hasn’t stopped state bureaucrats from scurrying to institute a new component of expansion that makes the program even worse. Under this plan, some enrollees are asked to contribute nominal amounts to new “Health Independence Accounts,” or HIAs, which were supposed to mirror health savings accounts.
But these new HIAs are nothing like real health savings accounts and were destined to fail from the beginning . Now that the program is up and running, the evidence is mounting: so-called “independence” accounts are actually reducing enrollees’ “skin in the game,” and costing even more money for taxpayers.