If Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign had taken off the way his Medicaid expansion did, he would have won more than one primary.
Kasich’s decision to put working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities on Medicaid cost federal taxpayers nearly $4 billion in the past 10 months, and remains on track to double his 2014-20 cost projection of $14 billion.
Based on Ohio Department of Medicaid expenditure reports, expanding Medicaid under the 2010 federal health law has cost $3.9 billion since last July and $7.9 billion since January 2014. Ohio’s Obamacare expansion cost $397 million in April alone.
Kasich’s Obamacare expansion has already had a staggering impact on Ohio General Revenue Fund spending, and will crowd out other priorities as the state share of benefit costs increases from zero to 10 percent in the next few years.
“April GRF disbursements, across all uses, totaled $3,315.7 million and were $300.1 million (9.9%) above estimate,” the Ohio Office of Budget and Management reported. Obamacare expansion costs were more than 10 percent of GRF spending for the month.
April enrollment, at 672,000, will be revised higher if previous Ohio Department of Medicaid caseload reports are any indicator. Because of backdated and retroactive eligibility, March Obamacare expansion enrollment was initially reported as 673,000 before being revised to 686,000.
From January 2014 through March, Obamacare expansion enrollment increased every month and was over budget every month.
ODM initially reported 609,000 Ohioans were enrolled in Obamacare expansion in July 2015, the first month of the state’s 2016 fiscal year. In the latest caseload report, July enrollment was listed as 643,000 — almost 5 percent higher than projected in the budget signed in June.
Obamacare expansion estimates in the 2016-17 state budget are falling short of actual costs and enrollment despite being increased dramatically from Kasich administration projections just two years earlier.
Relative to the cost estimate Kasich used during his months-long failed attempt to pressure the Ohio General Assembly into expanding Medicaid in 2013, Obamacare expansion is fast approaching $4 billion over budget.
Enrollment in Kasich’s Obamacare expansion is nearly 300,000 greater than Kasich said it would be. As a result of enrollment overruns in the welfare expansion for able-bodied, working-age, childless adults, one in four Ohioans is now dependent on Medicaid.
The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
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