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Cross-posted at ACA Signups
This is an interesting example of the fundamental philosophical difference between those who support the ACA and those who oppose it (well, those who oppose it from the Right, anyway; some people oppose it from the Left because they'd prefer Single Payer, Public Option, etc.).

It seems that Illinois has seen Medicaid enrollments shoot up quite a bit more than expected since ACA Expansion officially went into effect on January 1st. This appears to be primarily due to the "woodworker effect", which the article, as a bonus, breaks out specifically: 200K Strict Expansion + 115,000 Woodworkers:

Illinois has added 315,000 people to Medicaid since Jan. 1. Here’s a breakdown:

—36,000 people were enrolled when they applied for food stamps
—93,000 people were added through a special County Care program in Cook County
—104,000 people have been added through the state’s Obamacare exchange
—82,000 have been added through the federal Obamacare website,

“That’s 315,000 right now. We thought we’re going to be at 200,000 this year,” Hamos said.

State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Rochelle, knew Illinois would see a flood of people enroll in Medicaid, but these numbers surprise even him.

“We saw (numbers) from outside organizations to expect well over 500,000 people, maybe as many as 750,000 people,” Demmer told Illinois Watchdog.

But it’s not just the overwhelming that worry Republicans like Demmer.

The federal government has promised to pay all of the costs for newly eligible Medicaid enrollees, mostly young men who live close to the poverty line.

Illinois has plenty of those, but what about the rest? The other 115,000 or so, Hamos said, are either in the system or will soon enroll, potentially costing Illinois taxpayers hundreds of millions.

The Medicaid spreadsheet lists 77,744 Medicaid enrollees via the January CMS report. I'm not sure whether these are already included in the above numbers or not (presumably as part of the 104,000 "state exchange" number), but am assuming that it is until I learn otherwise. I'm subtracting the 77.7K from the 104K, giving 2 numbers on the spreadsheet: 108,256 and another 129,000 for the Special Transfers.

The interesting thing politically here is that the article is written from an anti-ACA perspective; they're of the mind that a huge spike in new Medicaid enrollments is a bad thing, due to the impact on the state budget (the Federal Government is footing the bill for strict expansion enrollees, but woodworker additions are added under existing Medicaid funding for that state--which in the case of Illinois is about 50%).

In other words, as Ruth37 has written about prevoiusly, there are two reasons why certain states opposed Medicaid expansion: One is ideological, but the other is budget-related. Even if their state doesn't have to cover any strict-expansion enrollees, they still have to cover a portion of woodworkers who sign up as an indirect result of the ACA-driven Medicaid outreach effort.

Basically, these states don't want people to enroll in Medicaid even if they already qualify to do so, since that would cause budget/funding headaches.

This reminds me of the old joke about the doctor who said that he hated working in hospitals because they're filled with sick people!

MEANWHILE, in other ACA Signups News...

Connecticut: QHPs hit 58K; Medicaid up to at least 82.1K

Delaware: QHPs up 38%, Medicaid up 55% in February

Odds 'n' Ends: 2 Year Plan Extension, AR Medicaid Program Saved, CA Grandfathered Data

UPDATE: Add another 51,000 strict-expansion Medicaid enrollees to Iowa's total...

Originally posted to Brainwrap on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:34 AM PST.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And if those people were eligible prior to the ACA (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap, 2thanks, viral, ferg, mslat27, basquebob

    what they are complaining about is that people learned that they were eligible for a government program that existed under Bush.

    Damn that Obama! Keep the poors ignorant lest they use services to which they have a right!

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:46:29 AM PST

  •  Please explain the woodworker term. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Woodworker: (9+ / 0-)

      Here's the different types of enrollees: 1. Baseline Churn: People moving onto & off of Medicaid under pre-ACA rules due to status changes (married, divorced, got a job, lost a job, moved to a different state, had a kid, etc.)

      I've managed to weed out just about all of these from the spreadsheet/graph.

      2. Redeterminations: People who were already on Medicaid pre-ACA and are just renewing their enrollment.

      I stopped including these back in early January, when I first figured out how to interpret the CMS report footnotes (which can be pretty cryptic).

      3. Expansion Specific: People who weren't legally eligible for Medicaid/CHIP under pre-ACA thresholds, but are now, in the 24 states (+DC) that have gone through with expansion.

      These are the only ones that the MSM thinks should "count".

      4. Woodworkers: People who could have enrolled pre-ACA, but didn't for various reasons (not knowing they qualified, being too proud/embarrassed, not knowing the procedure, etc.), but have "come out of the woodwork" since October due to the ACA exchanges a) including a massive outreach/awareness program and b) streamlining the process to make it easier to enroll.

      I think these should count, but WaPo, PolitiFact, etc. don't seem to agree.

  •  I also read that the Oregon ACA exchange is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    being investigated because of their incompetence.

    •  GAO to probe Cover Oregon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Jeff Barnard, AP:

      The investigative arm of Congress on Wednesday agreed to look into problems with state health exchange websites around the country.

      The U.S. Government Accountability Office accepted an initial request from a group of House Republicans seeking an audit on how $304 million in federal grants were spent on the Cover Oregon website, which has yet to enroll a single person online without special assistance.

      The agency said that due to similar requests from several members of Congress and congressional committees related to the rollout of online health care exchanges, it would broaden the investigation and issue several separate reports on its findings.

      GAO spokesman Charles Young said just which states will be included with Oregon will be determined as the investigation goes forward. But 14 states and the District of Columbia opted to create their own exchanges and accepted federal funding to do so.

      Republicans have been stepping up their attacks on troubled health exchanges during this election year, but Rep. Greg. Walden, R-Ore., said it was a nonpartisan issue.

      He said Oregon Democrats Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley made their own requests for the GAO to investigate a day after Walden, House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan and Reps. Joe Pitts and Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania filed theirs last month.

      I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

      by rsmpdx on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 03:12:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Somewhat OT -- IRS issues regs on ACA "penalty" (0+ / 0-)

    The IRS has now issued more details on the penalty ("Individual Shared Responsibility Payment" in bureaucrat-speak) that people will have to pay a year from now if they don't get insurance, as well as other helpful guidance on how the law is being implemented. Please get the word out especially to people who are making lots of noise about refusing, and to people who will be exempt from the penalty (including "Medicaid gappers") but are anxious about it.

  •  SF paper: They changed ACA AGAIN..and AGIAN!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    twisted into pretzles logically.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 02:31:19 PM PST

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