A total of 243,230 Ohioans have already been added to the state’s Medicaid rolls under the Obamacare expansion implemented by Republican Governor John Kasich this January.
Based on the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s May caseload report released this week, enrollment under the expansion was 232,711 in April — not the 184,671 reported last month.
The March enrollment figure was also revised dramatically upward this week, to 208,213 from the 171,910 reported last month. In April, the Ohio Department of Medicaid estimated that March enrollment for those eligible under Obamacare was 106,238.
State caseload reports each month note that recent figures “include estimates of retroactive/backdated enrollment and are subject to minor change from month-to-month.”
“The Group VIII [Obamacare expansion] numbers do not include such estimates as no historical pattern of retroactive enrollment exists as of yet, therefore, numbers for this newly eligible group will change from month‐to‐month,” an Ohio Department of Medicaid disclaimer explains.
State figures show that after just five months, Medicaid enrollment under Kasich’s Obamacare expansion already exceeds two thirds of the 366,000 the Kasich Administration projected would enroll by July 2015.
The Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which the Kasich Administration enacted last fall, made all Ohioans with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line eligible for the entitlement program. Gov. Kasich expanded Medicaid over opposition from the Ohio General Assembly.
Long before Kasich unilaterally enacted the Obamacare expansion, the left-leaning Urban Institute estimated that 90 percent of Ohioans eligible under the Obamacare expansion would be able-bodied childless adults of working age.
Even Kasich’s own Office of Health Transformation acknowledged that more than 1 in 4 Obamacare Medicaid expansion enrollees — 96,000, by the administration’s calculation — would be pushed from private health insurance into Medicaid.
Concurrent with Gov. Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid to working-age Ohioans without children or physical disabilities, Ohio’s labor force has continued a years-long descent.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,958,676 Ohioans in the labor force in January 2007; by the time Kasich took office in January 2011, Ohio’s labor forced had dropped to 5,805,865.
This January, there were 5,763,128 Ohioans in the labor force. That number increased by 2,363 in February, only to drop by 10,660 in March.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in a February release that “expanded Medicaid eligibility under [Obamacare] will, on balance, reduce incentives to work,” citing a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper released last summer.