How Millions are Taking Advantage of the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion
According to a recent audit done by Louisiana’s legislative auditor, 82 of the 100 people receiving the state’s expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare don’t actually qualify for the benefits.
Over 80 percent make more than enough money and shouldn’t be eligible for the benefits yet they are enrolled in the program.
Daryl G. Purpera, the auditor, said that if the statistics from the sample represents the state’s whole Medicaid population, Louisiana is losing $85 million to ineligible beneficiaries.
“This is huge. It really is,” said Purpera to The Washington Times. “As more and more state auditors realize what this is doing to them, it’s going to come to a point where all 50 of them are going to have to declare they can no longer say the state’s books are accurate. I really do believe that day is coming.”
Purpera compared income data from the state’s workforce commission to what the Medicaid recipients told the health department they were making, many of which lied about their income to get benefits.
Two of the cases collecting Medicaid he examined were making over $300,000 a year.
“The report is stunning. It is breathtaking. There are not words in English to describe what our legislative auditor found,” said Sen. John Kennedy, Louisiana Republican. “The Department of Health just threw the money in the dirt.”
Kennedy has proposed legislation that would require every state to check federal income data before awarding Medicaid welfare. As of now, it’s just optional.
In 2008, Medicaid accounted for 18.6 percent ($6 billion) of Louisiana’s state budget. Now, Medicaid accounts for 36 percent ($12.4 billion) of the state’s total budget.
Over 25 percent of the state is on Medicaid. The Medicaid expansion was a program part of Obamacare that made these benefits available to people with slightly higher incomes than the poverty line.
As Purpera said, this isn’t just happening in Louisiana, it’s a nationwide problem since most states have accepted the expansion.
In California, a federal inspector general found 38 ineligible out of a sample of 150 receiving Medicaid benefits. In a New York report, roughly 50,000 cases were found to be potentially ineligible.
“Every dollar that’s stolen from the Medicaid system by a fraudster is a dollar that cannot go to help the truly needy,” said Nicholas Horton, director of research at the Foundation for Government Accountability. “So states should absolutely be focusing on closing gaps, and there is certainly more states can and should do to protect their welfare programs and ensure that resources are preserved for folks who are truly needy.”
Medicaid spending is at an all-time high of half a trillion dollars a year nationwide. The U.S. public spending on healthcare is more than the socialized systems in Canada and the U.K., according to recent data.
“U.S. governments at all levels spent 8.5 percent of gross domestic product on healthcare in 2016, more than the average of comparable countries (7.9 percent), the U.K. (7.7 percent), and Canada (7.4 percent). The only countries in the group that spent more were France (8.5 percent) and Germany (9.5 percent),” writes The Washington Examiner referring to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s analysis of 2016 OECD data.
And this is only going to get worse. After the midterm elections, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is expected to grow by a half of million.
“Democratic victories in Kansas, Maine and Wisconsin gubernatorial races could soon put those states in the expansion column, and voters in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah easily approved initiatives adopting the program,” writes Politico.
However, some state leaders are pushing back on rolling out the expansion.
At the end of last month, the Maine Governor’s office filed a court order to delay Medicaid expansion in the state, claiming that it will cause a “fiscal crisis” to Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services.
Author’s note: This is an example of just another Obama welfare program being abused by millions. The idea behind the program isn’t awful, but the execution and lack of policing is costing taxpayers a lot of money. Sadly, this will only get worse before it gets better and the real problem of spiraling costs of healthcare continues to go unaddressed.