ObamaCare’s Medicaid Enrollment Explosion: A Looming Fiscal Nightmare For States

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Across the country, governors and state lawmakers have circled “2017” on their calendars. This is the first year that the enhanced federal funding for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion starts to fade away and states will have to scramble to find new funds to pick up their share of the expense. As it turns out, “free money” comes at a cost.

But a new report from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) reveals that the fiscal pain soon coming to states may be even worse than anticipated.

* In Ohio, Medicaid expansion ran $1.5 billion over budget in its first 18 months.

* The state of Washington had to increase its biennium budget by $2.3 billion to deal with higher than expected Medicaid expansion costs and, having now surpassed even those revised projections, expansion overruns will only continue to climb.

* Illinois’ Medicaid expansion ran $800 million over budget in 2014 and has now signed up more able-bodied adults than state officials predicted would ever be eligible.

*In Kentucky, Medicaid expansion is now projected to run a combined $1.8 billion over budget in fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

These states aren’t outliers. They’re the norm.