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Illinois state governor touts 100K Obamacare enrollees, all in Medicaid

By   /   October 16, 2013  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 32 of 97 in the series Obamacare

By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog

SPRINGFIELD  — Obamacare is doing what it was designed to do in Illinois — adding thousands upon thousands of people to the state’s Medicaid rolls.

#MEDICAID: Quinn bragged about Obamacare "success" at Dem fundraiser.

#MEDICAID: Quinn bragged about Obamacare “success” at a Democrat fundraiser.

Gov. Pat Quinn bragged Tuesday about the more than 100,000 people he said have enrolled through the Affordable Care Act.

But Quinn left out two very important facts. Almost all of those people were early enrollees last year, and every single one of them enrolled in Medicaid.

“One-hundred-thousand people in Cook County have signed up for County Care, the early enrollment (Medicaid) program,” said Mike Claffey, a spokesman for the state Department of Insurance. “All those people will be transitioned into the Medicaid portion of the ACA come Jan. 1.”

County Care is a special Obamacare trial program only for those people who reside in Cook County.

So what about the rest of Illinois, and the people going to Illinois’ Obamacare marketplace?

“More than 14,000 have submitted applications for the state’s expanded Medicare program,” a news release from Claffey’s office boasts.

The state, however, has no idea how many people may have signed up for private insurance through the marketplace. Claffey said those numbers will have to come from Washington, D.C.

State Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale, said she is not surprised Quinn is bragging about adding more than 100,000 people to Medicaid.

“We presumed that at least 350,000 would come on to Medicaid under the expansion,” Bellock said. “And my expectation is that the number will be somewhere between 500,000 to 700,000 people.”

Bellock is the GOP point person on Medicaid in the Illinois House of Representatives. She has been trying to tell Quinn and his fellow Democrats that

DANGEROUS COSTS: Bellock says Illinois is taking a $6.5 billion risk with Medicaid expansion.

Illinois is taking a huge risk by opening Medicaid to that many people.

“We want to provide care for the most vulnerable population in Illinois. But the expansion is going to cost us a lot more money, even if it is federally matched,” Bellock said.

The federal government promised Illinois — and other states that have expanded their Medicaid eligibility — that Washington will pay 100 percent of the cost for newly eligible Medicaid patients for three years, and 90 percent of the costs after that.

Unless Congress changes its mind.

“If in these debt ceiling talks, Congress pares (the extra match) back to 65 percent, which is what President Obama has suggested the last two years, you would be looking at a $6.5 billion cost to the state of Illinois,” Bellock said. 

Illinois already spends $12 billion on Medicaid each year. The federal match bumps that up to about $17 billion.

Bellock said even with the extra federal money, Illinois still will see its Medicaid costs rise about $1 billion a year.

The state also has a huge problem of providing Medicaid to those who should not receive it. A private review of the state’s Medicaid rolls found that about a third on Medicaid are ineligible.

Bellock expects that number to grow with the Medicaid expansion.

“Because they are so backed up and so hurried, (the federal Healthcare and Human Services office) said they were just going to let people use the honor system,” Bellock said.

That means no income verification or residency check for those enrolling in Medicaid in Illinois.

Bellock has asked for monthly reports to check up on Medicaid enrollment, and said she hopes the private review of the state’s health care program can act as some kind of check to the expansion of Obamacare.

 Contact Benjamin Yount at [email protected] and find him on Twitter @BenYount

Part of 97 in the series Obamacare
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  2. The mystery of Obamacare spending in Arkansas
  3. Obamacare raises questions for MD small business owners
  4. Kansas official on Obamacare: ‘Let someone else be the guinea pig’
  5. Obamacare insurance marketplace has plenty of kinks on first day
  6. OR’s Obamacare insurance marketplace hits technological snag
  7. Fail: Day 1 of the New Mexico Obamacare rollout
  8. Senator asks: Do you want this dysfunctional government taking over health care?
  9. Jobs, coverage at risk with Obamacare, MN union health official says
  10. Oregon’s Obamacare ads resemble middle school art
  11. VIDEO: Obamacare vs Affordable Care Act: Comedy triumphs in court of confusion
  12. Patience is key to navigating Illinois’ Obamacare marketplace
  13. Hawaii residents, lawmakers frustrated with health connector glitches
  14. Healthy young, key to Obamacare, aren’t buying it
  15. NM’s health exchange tries to lure ‘young invincibles’
  16. Obama drama: Senator blames governor for big rate hikes
  17. Progressive group navigates Oregon students through Obamacare
  18. Maddening: Trying to log onto federal health care site
  19. You know that one guy who successfully signed up for Obamacare? He didn’t
  20. What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working
  21. HHS Secretary Sebelius back in FL after embarrassing Obamacare rollout
  22. Health centers enroll Floridians in Obamacare as application problems persist
  23. VIDEO: Stewart skewers Sebelius on Obamacare
  24. Obamacare effect? 9 companies exit Nebraska’s health insurance market
  25. Obamacare: Children of undocumented parents face an uncertain future
  26. Which way do we go? Obamacare navigator registration in TN in question
  27. NM health exchange tries to ease problems with Obamacare website
  28. CPA says hype over Obamacare small business tax credit is misleading
  29. Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant
  30. Reports of Obamacare fraud emerge in Tennessee
  31. After two weeks, FL online Obamacare enrollees are hard to find
  32. Illinois state governor touts 100K Obamacare enrollees, all in Medicaid
  33. Kansas lawmaker calls for crackdown on Obamacare navigators
  34. WI health care exchange seeing few getting through
  35. Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange relaunches with more glitches
  36. We’ll know next month how many people in NM signed up for Obamacare — maybe
  37. Zero: Number of Nebraskans Obamacare navigators have signed up
  38. It took this Delaware woman 11 days to sign up for Obamacare – and she was the first
  39. How many people have signed up for health insurance in VA? Who knows?
  40. What else? NM federal health exchange ads stalled due to website problems
  41. Blue Cross hires temp workers to deal with Obamacare glitches
  42. If Obamacare is the next Medicare, will physicians leave en masse?
  43. Three problems that won’t be solved by fixing the Obamacare exchange glitches
  44. Plenty of Oregonians interested in Obamacare, but none can enroll online
  45. Criticize this: Obamacare premiums a near match to WI disclosures
  46. Report: Missourians will see sharp rise in premiums under Obamacare
  47. Kansas navigators say they’ve enrolled no one in Obamacare
  48. Obamacare too costly for rich Coloradans, Democrat congressman says
  49. Study: Kansas premiums to spike following Obamacare rollout
  50. Hang on to your candy: Creepy Uncle Sam is back
  51. Obamacare or bust: NM Watchdog turned back again
  52. Medical journals, experts refute claim that Medicaid cuts ER use
  53. Arkansas spends $4M on Obamacare ads, wants more
  54. LOL: In July video, HHS bragged about being ‘on schedule’ with Obamacare
  55. Illinois uses Day of the Dead to market Obamacare
  56. Sebelius denies GOP’s Terry ‘unreliable’ Obamacare info
  57. About 290,000 Washington residents lose health insurance plans
  58. Broken promise: Obamacare cancels almost 20,000 Kansas health care plans
  59. Top hospitals opt out of Obamacare
  60. Obamacare moves to intensive care
  61. Obamacare provision could lead to more Medicaid fraud
  62. Obamacare: Religious groups want to ‘move mountains’
  63. Obamacare hitting Wisconsin residents with double whammy
  64. Kansas AG: Obamacare threatens consumer privacy
  65. 1,500 in New Mexico have to move out of the high-risk insurance pool
  66. Cover Oregon website fiasco creates jobs, but costs millions
  67. For Florida’s Obamacare small business exchange, it’s crunch time
  68. Only 877 Wisconsinites have signed up for Obamacare, federal report says
  69. Just 172 in NM have completed Obamacare applications: ‘Woefully inadequate,’ says NMIX board member
  70. With only 346 Oklahomans signed up, leaders decry ‘Obamacare debacle’
  71. Defying Obamacare: ‘Send them the bill,’ NM insurance official says
  72. Kansas Obamacare enrollment dwarfed by nearly 20,000 cancellations
  73. Numbers don’t lie: In Illinois, Obamacare means Medicaid
  74. Wisconsin governor proposes insurance plan to address Obamacare rollout failure
  75. Tennesseans might know Tuesday if they can keep canceled health insurance
  76. People demand answers over Oregon’s Obamacare fail
  77. Calif. says ‘no’ to Obamacare freebies, makes own law
  78. HI health exchange violates federal law, League of Women Voters say
  79. Obamacare video winner: ‘Forget about the price tag’
  80. Harvard study finds ‘striking’ rejection of Obamacare by young Americans
  81. HI health exchange has signed up 574 people, for about $348,000 apiece
  82. Are the uninsured getting Obamacare coverage in Illinois?
  83. Secret Obamacare handbook the feds don’t want you to see is online
  84. Lost in translation: Once-supportive Hispanics turning backs on Obama, ACA
  85. HI Obamacare exchange not fiscally sustainable, lawmakers told
  86. Illinois’ latest Obamacare targets: gold diggers and momma’s boys
  87. Now Democrats are bashing California’s Obamacare exchange, too
  88. Obamacare: For $1.37M we get Richard Simmons in lurid web stream
  89. Obamacare: A welcome mat for IRS horrors
  90. California senator seeks audit of state Obamacare exchange
  91. Report: Hawaii ranks worst for Obamacare signups
  92. CA senator sues Obamacare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
  93. Failure of Maryland Obamacare exchange could mean higher premiums in North Dakota
  94. Video: Watch Creepy Uncle Sam make it rain
  95. Five bright spots surrounding the Obamacare exchange failures
  96. Obamacare architect admitted in 2012 states without exchanges lose subsidies
  97. Architects of Richard Simmons Obamacare dance-off rehired in $156M PR campaign


Ben formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.