Health care activists organized protests in the Senate office hallways against the Senate GOP health care plan which they claim would ‘ruin’ Medicaid because it would phase out Obamacare’s expansion of the program. But analysts say that Medicaid is in need of reform because it is very costly while also delivering low-quality health care to many of its enrollees.
Medicaid, which was initially designed to aid specific populations—like the disabled and low-income Americans—expanded immensely under Obamacare.
Obamacare incentivized states to increase their programs by offering increased matching rates from the federal government, which brought millions of new recipients into the program. In fact, 31 states plus the District of Columbia expanded their programs since Obamacare was implemented in 2010.
Many on the left have touted this expansion as successful. The New Yorker’s John Cassidy wrote in May, “What conservative Republicans like [House Speaker Paul] Ryan dislike about Medicaid isn’t just that it’s fiscally progressive. They also dislike that it’s working.”
One of the major “successes” of the expansion touted by proponents is that it has cut costs for states.
However, as Heritage Foundation health care expert Drew Gonshorowski wrote in The Daily Signal, this came after the federal government picked up most of the tab.
Not only were these rates set to be reduced under Obamacare, but even the remaining rates in place would create a worsening problem for the already outsized federal and state budget.