The Ohio Department of Medicaid will seek federal approval to require some of the state’s Medicaid recipients to shoulder a portion of their health care costs, according to an application draft of the Healthy Ohio Program (HOP) posted on April 15.
Jonathan Ingram, vice president of research at the Foundation for Government Accountability, says HOP would do little to reduce the state’s unexpectedly high Medicaid expansion costs.
“Ohio’s latest proposal simply adds window dressing to an Obamacare expansion that has already run more than $3 billion over budget and has already signed up more able-bodied adults than state officials expected would ever enroll,” Ingram said. “Despite the use of creative conservative buzzwords, this proposal actually represents a step backward, not forward.”
Ingram says HOP would increase per-person Medicaid costs.
“It has even less skin in the game than traditional Medicaid allows, and the state projects the per-person costs would be nearly 10 percent higher under this plan than under the current system,” Ingram said. “And that assumes that the projections will be on target, a suspect assumption given the fact that their earlier projections are now expected to be off by nearly $8 billion by the end of 2017.
“Even if the Obama administration approved it—which isn’t likely in its current form—it’s not a meaningful step in the right direction,” Ingram said. “This proposal simply makes clear that no amount of tinkering can ever make expanding Obamacare to 670,000 able-bodied adults a conservative plan.”
Michael Hamilton ([email protected]) is The Heartland Institute’s research fellow for health care issues and managing editor of Health Care News.
“Gov. Kasich’s Medicaid Expansion Is Costing Ohioans Billions of Dollars,” Opportunity Ohio, October 13, 2015: https://heartland.org/policy-documents/gov-kasichs-medicaid-expansion-costing-ohioans-billions-dollars
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