CBS News investigative reporter Jan Crawford reveals that in many of the states which are running their own health insurance exchanges, Medicaid enrollments are well above initial projections and are threatening the structure of Obamacare:
A CBS News analysis shows that in many of those 15 states that have their own health insurance exchanges, more people are enrolling in Medicaid than are actually buying private health insurance, and there is concern that if that trend continues, there won’t be enough healthy people buying insurance for the system to work.
Crawford pointed out that while President Obama has spoken glowingly about the state-run exchanges, what the administration isn’t telling the public is that in many of the states the newly insured are “overwhelmingly low-income people” who are enrolling in Medicaid at no cost to them.
Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, told Crawford that there has been a huge spike in the number of Medicaid enrollees, surprising him and other state officials.
Crawford said CBS News found that in the state of Washington, 87 percent of the 35,528 new enrollees signed up for Medicaid, while Kentucky wasn’t far behind with 82 percent of the 26,000 newly insured choosing Medicaid. Of the 37,000 Obamacare enrollees in New York, 64 percent are now Medicaid beneficiaries. She said they found similar figures in nearly half of the states running their own exchanges.
While the Obama administration says they expected a surge in Medicaid enrollees with the new health law, they haven’t addressed the potential problem that is looming, should this trend not reverse itself.
Obamacare was built on the premise that thousands of young people who are not currently insured would flock to the exchanges to buy insurance, thereby subsidizing the older people who are a higher risk and frequently need more medical care, and those with pre-existing conditions. But if they don’t sign up—and many of them won’t because they are unemployed—there could be big problems for the entire system, industry sources told Crawford.
The states that refused Medicaid expansion are looking smarter by the day.