Shattered Promises: How Bad Data Led to ObamaCare Enrollment Explosions


States have traditionally reserved Medicaid eligibility for the truly needy, such as seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income kids. But the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare, gives states the option to expand Medicaid to a new class of able-bodied, working-age adults.

States that have expanded their Medicaid programs under ObamaCare have witnessed skyrocketing enrollment and massive cost overruns. States have signed up more than twice as many able-bodied adults as initially projected. In many cases, more able-bodied adults signed up for the programs than state officials predicted would ever even be eligible. Worse yet, the per-person price tag has been nearly twice as high as projected, compounding the cost overruns even further.

States’ faulty assumptions and reliance on problematic data, coupled with actual results—states enrolled more than twice as many able-bodied adults as promised—should provide caution for policymakers weighing the impacts of expanding Medicaid. ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion is shattering projections and leaving taxpayers to pay the bill. Non-expansion states should learn from these inaccurate predictions and reject Medicaid expansion to able-bodied adults to preserve limited resources for the truly needy and protect state budgets.