Obamacare Medicaid Scandal: 21,904 Truly Needy People Died While Waiting Behind 13 Million Able-Bodied Adults
At least 21,000 needy people have died while waiting for Medicaid coverage, while 13 million able-bodied adults received coverage from Medicaid in the states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, an explosive new study revealed Tuesday. At least 247,295 people are currently on waiting lists to enroll in Medicaid.
The study, published by the Foundation for Government Accountability, revealed that when Obamacare enabled states to vastly expand Medicaid, it resulted in mismanagement, depriving the most needy and rewarding the able-bodied.
"This really is a tragedy. Medicaid was designed as a safety net for the truly needy. But it's become bloated and lost its focus," Nic Horton, research director at the foundation, told PJ Media. He argued that the "ObamaCare expansion is perhaps the best example of this: nearly 13 million able-bodied adults have been added to welfare while truly needy individuals on waiting lists die before ever getting the services they needed."
"I hope this is a wake-up call for policymakers everywhere to examine their Medicaid programs and make sure resources are being preserved for those who are truly vulnerable," Horton declared.
Since Obamacare's Medicaid expansion came into effect in 2014, 21,904 people have died while on the waiting list, and that number only includes 12 of the 32 states that expanded Medicaid. During that time, Medicaid spending on able-bodied adults more than doubled.
According to the report, only 10.7 million disabled people are on Medicaid, while the program covers 29.2 million able-bodied adults.
The foundation's report told the tragic story of Skylar Overman, a 12-year-old girl in Little Rock, Arkansas. "Born with a rare neurological condition called Schizencephaly that requires around-the-clock care, 12-year-old Skylar spent more than 10 years on the state’s Medicaid waiting list. While Skylar waited, the state enrolled more than 300,000 able-bodied adults in their Obamacare Medicaid Expansion."
Currently, there are more than 650,000 truly needy individuals like Skylar on waiting lists across the country, with nearly 250,000 of them in states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.
Here is a breakdown of the 22 states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and reported how many needy people are still on the Medicaid waiting lists. Next to the states where people died on the waiting list, I have included the number of people who died waiting for care. Three states in particular stand out: Maryland, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
In Alaska, 535 people remain on the Medicaid waiting list.
2. Arkansas, 74 deaths.
Under the Obamacare expansion, 289,428 people successfully signed up for Medicaid in Arkansas. There are still 3,278 people on the waiting list, however, and in the past four years 74 of them have died.
3. California, 384 deaths.
More than 3 million people (3,838,401) signed up for Medicaid under the Obamacare expansion in the nation's largest state. Even so, another 4,088 remain stuck on the waiting list, and 384 of them died before getting coverage.
In Colorado, 3,194 people remain on the waiting list to get Medicaid coverage.
In Connecticut, 2,903 people remain on the waiting list to get Medicaid coverage.
6. Illinois, 823 deaths.
In Illinois, more than half a million people (655,307) signed up for Medicaid under the Obamacare expansion, and another 19,163 remain on the waiting list. Another 823 people died on that waiting list.
In Indiana, 1,627 people remain on the Medicaid waiting list.
8. Iowa, 989 deaths.
A full 152,174 people signed up for Medicaid under the Obamacare expansion in Iowa. Another 8,928 remain on the waiting list, while 989 have died while on that waiting list.
9. Kentucky, 38 deaths.
Nearly half a million (466,193) people in Kentucky received Medicaid coverage under the Obamacare expansion. Another 8,190 remain on the waiting list, and 38 people have died waiting.
10. Louisiana, 5,534 deaths.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards unilaterally expanded Obamacare on July 1, 2016, and the state has since signed up 451,643 people. The program is grossly over budget. Despite promises the welfare program would only cost $1.1 billion in its first year, actual costs came to $2.5 billion.
In that same time period, however, 5,534 people died while on the Medicaid waiting lists. Another 73,929 remain on the waiting list, according to the report. Individuals wait up to six years and six months on average before receiving services.
11. Maryland, 8,495 deaths.
A staggering 8,495 people have died while waiting for coverage in Maryland since the Obamacare Medicaid expansion began. The state enrolled 291,044 people in Medicaid under the expansion, 103 percent more adults than were ever supposed to sign up. Another 36,156 remain on the waiting list.
According to state officials, the average wait time for an individual to be approved for Medicaid is seven years and six months. Even so, Maryland's Medicaid expansion has cost the taxpayer $4.7 billion.
12. Michigan, 1,970 deaths.
Under Obamacare, 665,057 Michigan residents received Medicaid coverage. Another 3,311 remain on the waiting list, and 1,970 people have tragically died while awaiting coverage.
13. Minnesota, 15 deaths.
When Minnesota expanded Medicaid under Obamacare, 206,774 Minnesotans were added to the rolls. Another 128 are still on the waiting list, and 15 tragically died while waiting.
In Montana, 1,309 people remain on the Medicaid waiting list.
15. Nevada, 304 deaths.
Under Obamacare, 220,582 people in Nevada received Medicaid coverage. Another 1,372 remain on the waiting list, while 304 of the needy have tragically died waiting.
16. New Hampshire.
In New Hampshire, 260 people remain on the Medicaid waiting list.
17. New Mexico, 2,031 deaths.
Since New Mexico expanded Medicaid under Obamacare starting on January 1, 2014, the state has spent $2.8 billion on benefits, enrolling 259,537 people. Both costs and enrollment far exceeded expectations.
During that same period, 2,031 needy people died while waiting for approval. Another 5,401 remain on the waiting list, while the state has provided benefits for more than 259,000 able-bodied adults. For those who do eventually get care, total wait times average 10.2 years.
18. North Dakota.
In North Dakota, 3 people remain on the Medicaid waiting list, despite the Obamacare expansion.
In Ohio, 62,118 people remain on the Medicaid waiting list.
In Oregon, 134 people remain on the Medicaid waiting list.
21. Pennsylvania, 154 deaths.
Under Obamacare, 705,911 people in Pennsylvania received Medicaid coverage. Another 9,728 remain on the waiting list, while 154 of the needy have tragically died waiting.
22. West Virginia, 1,093 deaths.
Under Obamacare, 181,105 people in West Virginia received Medicaid coverage. Another 1,540 remain on the waiting list, while 1,093 of the needy have tragically died waiting.
The Foundation for Government Accountability report ended with a call for Medicaid reform. "Medicaid has lost sight of its core purpose as a safety net for the truly vulnerable," the report argued. "Over the last few decades in particular, the program has become bloated, enrolling a record number of able-bodied adults who are consuming limited resources."
"As these adults consume more and more resources, the truly needy are being left behind, many of them dying before ever getting the additional services they need," the report stated. "In order to restore Medicaid, policymakers must reprioritize and refocus the program on the truly needy."
The foundation presented a three-step reform plan: stopping the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, empowering individuals through work requirements, and cracking down on welfare fraud.
While Obamacare did not create the waiting lists, the Medicaid expansion increased the likelihood that truly needy individuals will miss out on the help they need, because billions of dollars in aid are being diverted to able-bodied adults.
When liberals expand big-government welfare programs, they don't just cost the taxpayer. Misdirecting government benefits can also leave the truly needy out in the cold, and this horrible tragedy provides 21,904 reasons to reverse the Obamacare expansion and reform Medicaid.