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Hospital Presumptive Eligibility Was Busting Budgets Long Before the Pandemic

An American recovery is well underway. Over the last few months, millions of small businesses have opened, millions of people have left dependency on unemployment benefits, and layoffs are continuing to decrease. Still, states are trying to bounce back from busted budgets and the woes that came along with the pandemic. But while lawmakers will point the finger at COVID-19 for all of their problems, state budgets have been under immense pressure for years.

Medicaid spending nationwide was roughly $630 billion in 2019 alone. Two decades ago, Medicaid accounted for nearly one in five dollars states spent. Today, that number has jumped to nearly one in three. While the pandemic certainly didn’t help matters, Medicaid has been draining state resources for years, leaving states vulnerable and exposed. 

One reason Medicaid carries such a large price tag are all of the questionable ways in which someone can enroll. Out of all the gimmicks and loopholes, hospital presumptive eligibility (HPE) is among the worst.  

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