Oregon’s increasing Medicaid cost

Oregon Health Plan cost

by NW Spotlight

A column in the Statesman Journal back in May noted “One in four Oregonians is on Medicaid, the government health care payment system for the poor. That does not include older Oregonians who are on Medicare.”

Who’s paying for all that? Right now it’s mostly “free money” from Washington D.C. – “free” meaning it’s paid from federal taxes we send to the IRS and from debt we’re leaving to our children and grandchildren.  But it looks like soon more of that will have to be paid for out of our state budget.

Yesterday the Associated Press reported that Oregon had underestimated the price tag of the Medicaid expansion. “The Health Plan is Oregon’s Medicaid program, and as hundreds of thousands of people became newly eligible last year under [Obamacare], most of them signed up. In the first year, enrollment was 73 percent higher than anticipated, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority.

The bill will be soon be coming due, however, as the state begins sharing the costs. The Affordable Care Act said the federal government would cover 100 percent of medical costs only until 2017, when its share would begin dropping to 90 percent.”

The May column in the Statesman Journal also noted “Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, is also raising the alarm about when the federal government will stop paying 95 percent of the Medicaid expansion costs next year, which will cost Oregon over $1 billion. Kruse further warns that tax provisions in Obamacare could cost Oregon an additional $1 billion in 2017, and that there are possible costs to repay the feds for the $300 million wasted on Cover Oregon.”

Keep an eye on this – it has huge potential impact on the next state budget.

Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin), Oregon budget committee co-chair, was quoted in the AP article yesterday saying that increasing the hospital tax could help cover part of the budget shortfall, but that “Ultimately, Oregon needs the improving economy to get more people off the Medicaid rolls.

Amen to that!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Health Care Reform, Obamacare, State Budget | 11 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Dick Winningstad

    Every free thing has a cost somewhere.

    • Imam see clearly here’n know

      Amen but the Dem left fling socialists don’t give a wrap whether taxpayer cost effective or snot.

  • Bob Clark

    The original Oregon Health Plan of the late 90s went to a lottery queuing system shortly after its creation. I think the same fate of the ObamaCare spending spree will meet the same fate. The Oregon Demoncats just threw everybody on food stamps onto the Oregon Health Plan Medicaid program, and touted it as a big success. Many of these folks wouldn’t have taken the time and effort to sign up for it. And the big emergency room savings anticipated…was as any realist expected…a big joke. ER is still the same, incurring the same rate of expenditure and more even after ObamaCare.

    Really, the key to providing a financially sustainable safety net is to continually design tax incentives towards applying oneself and supporting one’s own self, deregulating large parts of the economy as was done with key sectors of the economy beginning in the late 70s through late 90s (only this time starting with k-12 education and healthcare and right-to-work), and streamlining government so as to remove middleman costs.

    Even though she rides a broom most of the times, I am a bit encouraged by Hillary Clinton’s recent economic proposals as they do signal a move away from Obama’s more socialistic programming. (Hillary would be less worst than Obama as for the economy.) The GOP can best the Clintons by pushing the deregulation theme I believe, as the record seems clear the deregulation stall and regulation bent of the last 15 years is producing an economic malaise which is unable to support a growing welfare state.

    I think the Oregon GOP soldier needs to focus his/her political activity more on the state legislature and Governor’s office in the upcoming 2016 election than the U.S presidential race. The real government financial savings are in putting more balance into our state governance, and not so much the federal government (after all the latter has a money printing machine whereas the former doesn’t).

    • wfecht

      What do you mean by “providing a financially sustainable safety net is to continually design
      tax incentives towards applying oneself and supporting one’s own self,”why not just remove the income taxes and then there would not be a need to redistribute the wealth. I agree deregulating industries (remove taxes) is a beginning. one of the first would be the health insurance. remove the regulations and let people but the products from any company anywhere in the state. or even out of state. let them all compete. all buyers should read the policy including the fine print and refuse if it does not fill the need. DOH thats a free market.

      can’t have that now can we.

  • voterid

    Greece here we come!

  • redbean

    It’s not just the “usual suspects” that raise costs and threaten the system (e.g. ER use, care in the last month of life, “greedy” docs).

    Medicaid covers more than medical expenses. It also pays for residential care for people with a medical need for institutionalized care in nursing homes (est. $7,000/mo) and adult foster care (est. $5,000/mo). Again, that’s monthly..for years. Medicare, on the other hand, doesn’t cover residential care except for those receiving rehab, which lasts only a couple months or so generally.

    The generation that paid for long-term care with their “profit” from housing inflation before the bust is dying off. Nowadays, most folks can’t afford long-term care for too long thanks to the Fed’s longstanding war on savers. So, the elderly have to spend down their assets – instead of leaving them to their children – in order to get the “free” benefit, making everyone poorer in the long run.

    • thevillageidiot

      that’s because it buys votes.

  • Mike

    All I care about is if there is enough money left for me to continue to get my free methadone.
    Otherwise, who cares?

    • MrBill

      Methadone’s expensive. You should switch to medicinal marijuana.

      • guest

        Andor, try inhaling burnt US dollars or Greek dramas in EURO-analogy d’oh Mons ewer dwellers who encyst on liking Mike, albeit a nutcake in efficacy.

  • Jack Lord God

    We passed Obamacare and like the Iraq and Afghan wars, put it all on a credit card. The difference between the two is a war can gradually be paid off, an entitlement cannot.

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)