National Review Institute | Media Malpractice National Review Institute | Media Malpractice About NRI

Politico Blind to Medicaid’s Key Role in Obamacare

Sarah Kliff penned a piece for Politico published January 3rd titled, 6 States to Watch on Health Reform, stating that while “health reform repeal efforts will generate a lot of noise in the opening weeks of the 112th Congress … the real action on health reform is going to ramp up outside the Beltway in state capitals.”

This is true. But then the rest of her three page piece only mentions Medicaid once, and then only in passing. This is a huge omission. Of the 34 million Americans who gain health insurance through Obamacare, over half (18 million) will receive it through Medicaid, which is a program administered by states and funded in part by the federal government.

While Obamacare does pay for 100 percent of the BENEFIT costs of its Medicaid expansion from 2014 through 2017 (and 90% thereafter), it pays none of the ADMINISTRATIVE costs necessary to expand health insurance to these new 18 million Medicaid recipients. The Heritage Foundation’s Ed Haislmaier and Brian Blase found that just the administrative costs of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will cost states almost $12 billion by 2020.

With Medicaid spending already eclipsing all other state spending priorities before the Obamacare burdens, Kliff’s report is dead on: the real action on Obamacare will take place in state capitols. The only question is how many of them Obamacare will bankrupt.