Matt Bevin’s Medicaid Requirements Will Be Very Expensive

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I have to admit the cost of implementing Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's new Medicaid requirements hadn't crossed my mind but now that it has the program seems even more ridiculous.

Medicaid has never had the kind of requirements the Trump regime approved in Kentucky so building a system to implement and track them is going to cost nearly $200 million in the first six months and tens of millions annually from that point forward.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin projects that the program will eventually yield savings but the changes require an upfront investment in administrative expenses. Much of that money is aimed at creating complex electronic systems and other changes needed to track work hours, monthly premium payments and other elements of Kentucky’s recently approved plan to revamp the government insurance program for low-income Americans. [...]

Work requirements in particular are unprecedented for Medicaid agencies and will likely make up the bulk of the cost to build necessary infrastructure to track whether people are complying, said Patricia Boozang, senior managing director with Manatt, a legal and consulting firm with health care expertise.

Matt Bevin's henchmen in the state government say they'll eventually save $2.4 billion over 5 years by kicking people off Medicaid, but that seems like a slightly fantastical number to me. It's just as likely the state will spend nearly $200 million to build the infrastructure needed to implement the requirements just in time for federal courts to kill it.

In any case, the idea that they will save the federal government money is nonsense. It's not as if the average person's taxes will go down because Kentucky decided to kick 95,000 people off Medicaid. Medicaid funding is appropriated regardless of what the state of Kentucky does. Residents of Kentucky aren't going to see their taxes go down as a result of this.

That also applies to states that never bothered to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. State residents are still paying for it even if they can't use it.

Stop voting for people who want you dead.

  • Badgerite

    Work requirements for Medicaid recipients is just a means of trying to stigmatize the recipients as somehow unworthy of the benefits. According to Medicaid government website, the programs provides health insurance for about 72.5 million Americans. This includes people with disabilities or on Social Security Supplemental Income, low income seniors, single mothers and pregnant women as well as families who qualify by virtual of their income being 133% of the federal poverty level. For a single mom, that would be around $15,000. I rather doubt that there are that many people on Medicaid, in Kentucky or elsewhere, who are not already working unless they are elderly or disabled and cannot work.
    This is just stupid and baseless smearing of people as somehow unworthy of help.
    I’m surprised they don’t throw ‘drug testing’ into the mix. Or did they?
    Why waste the opportunity to squander more tax dollars in pursuit of the social Darwinism of the GOP.

  • muselet

    Matt Bevin’s plan, I think:

    Step 1: Ask the Trump administration to approve work requirements for Medicaid.

    Step 2: Spend untold millions on developing and implementing administrative systems to manage the work requirements.

    Step 3: Start kicking people off Medicaid, whether justified or not. Claim any mistakes are not mistakes but the result of fraud. Prosecute a few random Medicaid recipients to keep the rest quiet.

    Step 4: Ask the Trump administration for permission to use the Medicaid “savings” to expand and “improve” the administrative systems.

    Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until no one is left on Medicaid in Kentucky.

    Step 6: Run for President.


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