The Senate gave final approval Monday to a replacement plan for the voter-approved full Medicaid expansion after more than an hour of debate — and a last-minute update to the price tag.
Health care advocates called the bill — which would forgo $1 billion in federal matching funds — a “bridge to nowhere.”
The 22-7 vote — with all six Democrats and Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, opposed — didn’t change from the initial vote on SB96 last week, on the third day of the 2019 Legislature.
Medicaid was designed for providing health care to low-income pregnant women, children, the elderly and the disabled. Expanding it beyond its original purpose is driving a nearly $300 million hole in the Kentucky state budget. Expansion made it harder for Medicaid’s core users to get the care they needed, and harder to reduce waiting lists of children with developmental disabilities who need critical therapeutic services.
These outcomes are not unique to Kentucky. Nationwide, the per-person cost of expanding Medicaid has exceeded projections by 76 percent. Enrollment has nearly doubled original estimates. And predictions about the total cost missed the mark by 157 percent.
If Utahns approve Proposition 3, they’ll be signing up for the same financial disaster.