There's a hangover from the early days of Obamacare enrollments in which healthcare.gov was broken and the states were disorganized, and it needs to be fixed, immediately. Right now, as many as a couple million new Medicaid patients still haven't had their applications processed.
At least 2.9 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage as part of the health care overhaul have not had their applications processed, with some paperwork sitting in queues since last fall, according to a 50-state survey by CQ Roll Call. […]These delays are in both states that took Medicaid expansion and those that didn't, but had the "woodworker" effect—people discovering they were already eligible for the program when they signed up for insurance. Some of the states, all Republican, are disputing the number of people that the federal government determined were eligible: "Indiana approved only 5 percent of the healthcare.gov applications, Texas approved 17 percent and North Carolina approved 19 percent."
The waits are linked in part to the troubled rollout of the federal insurance website healthcare.gov last fall. Alaska, Kansas, Maine and Michigan still are unable to receive applications their residents completed through the federal website. Others such as Georgia received applications submitted last fall in May. […]
The delays are caused by a mix of technical problems and a surge of applications, especially in states that cajoled their residents to sign up for newly expanded benefits. More than 900,000 Californians are waiting for their benefit cards or denial letters, say state officials. In Illinois, another 330,000 people are in limbo. In North Carolina, it’s 285,884, plus another 12,956 applications that may include more than one person.
It's a travesty that nearly 5 million people who should be eligible are left out because of the refusal by Republican state leaders to take the Medicaid expansion. But having nearly 3 million in limbo—qualified but not being able to use it—is nearly as bad.