Last week Tim Hoover of the Denver Post reported that:
Two years after lawmakers expanded Medicaid to cover poor adults without children, the state is vastly scaling back the program because the number of people eligible for coverage is nearly three times as high as first projected and the cost of insuring them is almost nine times original estimates.
Read the whole article: Colorado scaling back Medicaid after drastically underestimating numbers, cost.
On Monday of this week, the Post’s Editorial Board opined:
The larger takeaways are that the nation’s health care crisis may be much bigger than can be gleaned from the 30,000-foot level and that politicians could be in for sticker shock when federal health reform comes online beginning in 2014. …
[T]he situation should serve as a warning: Sizing up the nation’s health care ills is not an exact science, and addressing it could be costlier, and more complicated, than we envisioned.
Should the post really be surprised? A couple of years ago the Wall Street Journal reviewed how government programs often exceed their spending estimates. In May 2010 ABC News reported that the “Health Care Bill Will Cost $115 Billion More Than Previously Assessed.” It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a more recent increased estimate.
The Post’s editorial also perpetuates the big lie of health care policy: “We all pay for treatment of this population now, but do it through the so-called “hidden tax” of providing them costly emergency and other services.” Read my refutation of this cost-shift fallacy.