Right Now

Today Sen. Hatch’s office has released a report with Chairman Upton’s office revealing a $118 billion price tag to states for the mandatory, massive expansion of the Medicaid program in the new health law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). The joint Congressional Committee report, Medicaid Expansion in the New Health Law: Costs to the States, offers a comprehensive overview of state government estimates regarding the cost of the Democrats’ controversial overhaul to state Medicaid programs. The report estimates the health law will cost state taxpayers at least $118.04 billion through 2023—more than double the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) recent estimate of $60 billion through 2021.

Interestingly, the report offers a more definitive and final analysis of Drs. Coburn and Barrasso’s claim in Grim Diagnosis, when they estimated the “the total costs to state taxpayers” for the Medicaid expansion in the law “could easily range in the hundreds of billions of dollars.” Unfortunately, these federally mandated costs will just further burden states during a time in which state budgets already face unprecedented fiscal pressure. According to the National Governors Association, states are facing a “collective budget deficits of $175 billion through 2013.”

The report detailing state-by-state Medicaid costs is here.