Contact: Charles Siler


ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion has been sold to the states on the back of falsehoods and lies, with many lawmakers being told only a limited number of individuals will ever enroll. While ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion has only been around for a few years, states have already blown past their maximum expansion enrollment numbers by the millions, according to a report released by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) today.

The report, “The ObamaCare Expansion Enrollment Explosion,” examined every ObamaCare expansion state with enrollment data available and discovered a systemic problem of under-projection and over-enrollment. The proponents of expansion have an incentive to keep their projections low when selling the massive welfare expansion to state lawmakers and the public, so the program appears less expensive than it really is. In the end, it’s the taxpayers who are on the hook for the costs of these enrollment explosions.

The five states with the worst differences between projections and actual enrollment:

1) California’s enrollment more than doubled projections at 120 percent above projections!
The Golden State had projected a maximum of 910,000 individuals would ever sign up for ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, but actual enrollment blew past that number, hitting 2 million by Sep. 2014.

2) Nevada missed the mark with enrollment, hitting 113 percent above projections.
Nevadans were told their expansion would enroll a maximum of 78,000 people, but by Jan. 2015 their expansion already had more than 166,000 enrollees. This massive spike in enrollment has caused a shock to the state’s health care system, leading to access issues for patients.

3) Washington enrolled more than half a million people, exploding projections by 104 percent above projections.
Washington originally projected a maximum of 262,000 individuals would enroll in ObamaCare’s expansion, but the state began exceeding those projections just two months in. The state has been forced to revise its expansion budget five times, exceeding those projections every time.

4) Kentucky’s enrollment doubled projections in the first year by 100 percent above projections.
The state’s legislature rejected expanding ObamaCare in Kentucky, but Gov. Steve Beshear ignored lawmakers and expanded the state’s program by executive order. Beshear’s office originally projected a maximum of 188,000 people would sign up, but more than 375,000 signed up in the first year costing taxpayers $1.8 billion more in the next fiscal year.

5) Illinois enrolled more than 600,000, exceeding projections by 83 percent above projections.
Gov. Pat Quinn’s office promised legislators low and predictable enrollment if they expanded ObamaCare in the state. Only 342,000 individuals were supposed to ever enroll, but there are already 626,000 people enrolled in the expansion, raising the cost to taxpayers by $800 million.

“ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion isn’t being sold based on facts, it’s being sold on dream scenarios with little basis in reality. When reality does finally hit and expansion states are forced to take on far more expenses than they ever anticipated, taxpayers are on the hook for billions and priorities like kids, cops and roads are put at risk,” said FGA CEO Tarren Bragdon.

“When it comes to ObamaCare expansion projections, the one thing states can count on is that they can’t count on them. The fact that every state with available data has outstripped projections should serve as a strong warning to any state that is considering ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. There are no reliable estimates of enrollment and cost. Lawmakers who support Medicaid expansion are gambling their constituents’ paychecks to help solidify President Obama’s legacy of an unprecedented growth of the welfare state.”

This crisis of over under-projecting and over-enrolling will cause even greater problems in 2017, when federal ObamaCare expansion funding starts to ratchet down and the states begin picking up more or the bill. With ballooning and unpredictable enrollments, it is virtually impossible for state lawmakers to budget for expansion expenses, meaning that these increases and any continued increases further threaten other critical state services, like education, public safety, and infrastructure.

Find out how the rest of the expansion states fared with their projections by reading the FGA report here.


To schedule an interview, please contact Charles Siler with the Foundation for Government Accountability at (202) 487-8652 or