After the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion was optional, many states rushed to accept it anyway. It was “free money,” they said. It would “create jobs,” lobbyists promised. Some officials even claimed this massive, open-ended welfare expansion would make their budgets more stable and predictable.
Unfortunately, none of these promises bore fruit. But perhaps none fell shorter than the guarantee of budget stability.
As part of their decision-making process, virtually every state created projections for how many able-bodied adults would sign up for the expansion and how much it would cost. These projections were used to make budget estimates and presented to the public as rock-solid figures for how much they, the taxpayers, would be expected to fork over.
Think of it like asking your mom to borrow her credit card to take five of your friends to the movies and promising not to spend more than $50.