Will Rising Medicaid Enrollment Affect State Budgets?

Jason Millman: “On Tuesday, I wrote about how states that have rejected Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion had seen their Medicaid enrollment grow anyway, thanks to what’s known as the ‘woodwork effect.'”

“States knew the woodwork effect was coming and had time to prepare for it, since the ACA was passed more than four years ago. The big question is just how accurately were they able to predict its impact.”

“This graph from a December 2012 NASBO report shows how Medicaid has been taking a greater portion of state general funds, while education spending has decreased.”

(National Association of State Budget Officers)

Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, “said he’s heard anecdotally that the woodwork effect is a bigger issue in states that expanded Medicaid. That’s not  surprising, since those states generally have more resources — and more enthusiasm — to sign people up for coverage.”

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