Inside Augusta

12 Days of Obamacare Surprises: An Optional Medicaid Expansion

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By Alyene Senger

The Heritage Foundation

Not all surprises are good. When it comes to Obamacare, the original projections are turning into unfortunately different realities. For the past 11 days, Heritage has highlighted one of the various changes in Obamacare projections (e.g., cost, enrollment, etc.) from when the law first passed until now.

In 2014, Obamacare expands Medicaid eligibility to able-bodied, childless adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). If a state chose not to expand, the federal government would stop funding their existing Medicaid programs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that by 2016, Obamacare would drive an additional 17 millionAmericans into Medicaid.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion was unconstitutionally coercive, ensuring state that chose not to expand would not lose existing federal assistance. Due to the Court’s ruling, the CBO now estimates that 6 million less Americans will be enrolled in the failing Medicaid program in 2022.

Surprise: While additional federal funding is available to those states that expand, the states will be burdened with the true cost. At least 20 states are planning to not expand or are unlikely to expand their Medicaid programs, according to Politico. The Supreme Court’s decision dealt a major blow to Obamacare and shifted a great deal of power to the states. This Christmas, in light of Obamacare’s many other mandates and requirements, this optional part of the law is certainly something to be thankful for.

12 Days of Obamacare Surprises:

11. Unlikely deficit reduction

10. Unelected bureaucrats on IPAB

9. Increased employer penalties

8. More cuts to Medicare

7. Loss of employer-sponsored insurance

6. A 50/50 split on enrollment estimates

5. More uninsured Americans

4. Increased exchange subsidies

3. Big tax increases

2. The small business tax credit

1. And the individual mandate.

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is the former editor of The Maine Wire and currently producer for the Howie Carr Show. Follow him on Twitter @Stevie_Rob or send him an email at Steve@HowieCarrShow.com.

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