All we can say is, “we told you so.” When the discussions on Medicaid Expansion began in earnest in 2013, we brought the facts to light over the next couple of years. There was plenty of evidence from other states what expanding Medicaid would mean to Alaska. We consulted with experts and testified in multiple hearings. Here are a few of the pieces we published:
The legislature and then-Governor Parnell wisely heeded our advice and did not expand Medicaid. But once elected, Governor Walker took action on his own (circumventing the legislature), expanding Medicaid to childless, able-bodied working-age adults. Well, the chickens are coming home to roost.
Last year, we wrote about the Walker administration missing important deadlines for reforming Medicaid in Alaska.
Earlier this year, we wrote about the ballooning cost of Medicaid to our state budget.
Now Suzanne Downing reports that the truly needy for whom Medicaid was designed, the “low-income, children, elderly, and disabled Alaskans” are being crowded out by the new population of able-bodied adults. She notes that a recent state Ombudsman’s report finds the backlog for processing applications has exploded in tsunami-like fashion since the expansion.