Is Arkansas Medicaid expansion the model? Yes. A model of waste and fraud

December 9, 2019

Here we go again. The News & Observer is banging the drum for Medicaid expansion, calling Arkansas the model.

But the National Bureau of Economic Research found the people being signed up in Arkansas and other states aren’t even eligible.

“Using data from U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the authors assessed coverage changes from 2012-17 in nine states that expanded Medicaid vs. 12 states that didn’t. They uncovered a huge problem. In 2017 alone, in those nine states, “around 800,000 individuals . . . appeared to gain Medicaid coverage for which they were seemingly income-ineligible.

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.

This isn’t a matter of growing pains. Improper enrollment has increased over time. It was two to three times as prevalent in 2017 as in 2014. It’s a systematic problem with ObamaCare in practice.”

So, what can we conclude about The News & Observer’s model of Arkansas? It’s a model of waste and fraud.