Galen Senior Fellow Brian Blase reports in a Wall Street Journal op-ed about millions of working, middle-income people being illegally enrolled in Medicaid, the health program designed for poor and vulnerable Americans.
ObamaCare is supposed to make Medicaid available to households with incomes below 138% of the poverty line, or nearly $36,000 for a family of four. In the nine states—Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio and West Virginia—the authors found that among households with incomes 138% to 250% of the poverty line (about $65,000 for a family of four), some 78% that gained coverage had improperly enrolled in Medicaid. That was also true of 65% of the population above 250% of poverty that gained coverage.
There’s evidence of massive improper enrollment in other states. According to 2018 reports by the Inspector General’s Office at the Department of Health and Human Services, 25% of Medicaid expansion enrollees were likely ineligible in both California and New York.
A state audit in Louisiana found 82% of expansion enrollees were ineligible at some point during the year they were enrolled. The central problem appears to be the state’s reliance on the federal exchange website to determine eligibility. People who entered no income simply to explore their options were automatically enrolled in Medicaid.The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 14, 2019
“Medicaid needs to be protected and taxpayer dollars preserved for the disabled and low-income children, pregnant women and seniors,” Blase and Yelowitz conclude.