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Saturday, November 30, 2019

New York City LEADS The Country In ILLEGAL Medicaid Enrollment

 In areas of The Bronx, 40 percent of all working-age adults with incomes exceeding eligibility thresholds were enrolled in Medicaid in 2017.
In areas of The Bronx, 40 percent of all working-age adults with incomes exceeding eligibility thresholds were enrolled in Medicaid in 2017.NY Post photo composite/Mike Guille



Brian Blase

From 2013 — the year before ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion took effect — to 2018, there has been a surge of Medicaid payments out of compliance with legal criteria. In fact, improper Medicaid payments more than tripled.
While states bear some of the burden for improper spending, most of the bill is picked up by the federal government. We estimated that improper payments now exceed 20 percent of federal Medicaid expenditures, an amount above $75 billion each year.
As a result of ObamaCare’s more generous Medicaid funding, many states — including New York — have stopped properly assessing whether applicants are eligible before they enroll.
While the health-care industry, particularly insurance companies, has benefitted from ObamaCare’s windfall of federal cash and improper Medicaid enrollment, traditional enrollees face a harder time obtaining care — and taxpayers are stuck with an enormous tab.
‘We estimated that improper payments now exceed 20 percent of federal Medicaid expenditures, an amount above $75 billion each year’
The inspector general at the federal Department of Health and Human Services found substantial problems with New York state’s process for reviewing Medicaid eligibility. The state made large numbers of errors and did not always maintain documentation. An audit of the entire state’s program found 15 percent of applicants improperly enrolled. The size of the error was staggering, with the inspector general estimating that New York state improperly claimed more than $1.8 billion in a six-month period on behalf of more than 900,000 ineligible enrollees or people who were enrolled without having submitted all the proper documentation.
In order to get a handle on its budget crisis, New York should conduct targeted eligibility reviews in The Bronx and Queens. If the state doesn’t act, the federal government must step in and require eligibility reviews in these hot spots and others around the country. Some level of government owes it to taxpayers and to those who are truly eligible to get enrollment right.
Brian Blase, a special assistant to President Trump at the National Economic Council from 2017-19, is president of Blase Policy Strategies. Aaron Yelowitz is an economics professor at the University of Kentucky and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. They are co-authors of the new Mercatus Center study, “The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion: A Review of Ineligible Enrollees and Improper Payments.”

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