Medicaid Experiment Continues to Blow Holes in State Budget - Granite Grok

Medicaid Experiment Continues to Blow Holes in State Budget


Vermont is very progressive. Bernie is after all their US Senator (can anyone name the other one?) The state fully embraced Obamacare, the exchanges, Medicaid Expansion, and developed its own oversight provider network. And it loses gobs of money every year.

Related: NH Dems Look Left (Toward Vermont) For Ways to Waste Your Money

$53 million of the projected FY 2017 shortfall was attributed to Medicaid spending. And $36 million of the 2016 fiscal year’s $40 million shortfall was due to Medicaid spending. The federal government paid the full cost of expansion through the end of 2016, but the state had to begin paying 5 percent of the cost of covering the newly-eligible population starting in 2017, and 6 percent in 2018.

A more accurate turn of phrase would be costs are significantly higher than projected. You don’t say? And why is this? More people than expected have been using the free medical services backstopped by taxpayers. A trend that continued into 2019. That deficit is smaller ($12.4 million) but again, it is not a problem they could not expect.

Back in 2017, the State passed a law to take the state to a single-payer healthcare system by 2017. But they never funded it. They didn’t have the stones to ask voters for the 1.6 billion dollars needed to fund it. A number that was probably half the real starting cost and only likely to get bigger.

Proof that Health Care is only a human right when creating it won’t cost you your political career. Pro-Tip: that’s not a “right.”

As an alternative, Vermont embraced the current Medicaid for not quite all models. Have it in place and then wait for the feds to bail it out, perhaps. Maybe a President Hillary or Bernie. The wait is killing them. The legislature must debate annually over the matter of eligibility because of cost overruns resulting from the expert’s inability to predict what human beings will do when you give them something for which other people must pay.

Here’s a hint. Take the highest number you can possibly announce to the public and then add some zeroes to the end. Or you could just admit that the government is incapable of delivering affordable health care.

I don’t expect them to do either.