McAuliffe Muffs Medicaid Expansion Questioning (Round 2 – Predictions Gone Awry)

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Photo courtesy of Watchdog.

Photo courtesy of Watchdog.

The Virginia Medicaid Reform Team (VMRT – a group of grassroots activists) recently sent Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe the second of several sets of hard questions about Medicaid expansion.

Again, there was no response from the Governor.

As VMRT wrote his office:

Medicaid expansion is no longer tabula rasa.  It has a track record.

A number of predictions that Medicaid expansion supporters made about expansion turned out not to be true – emergency room use goes UP, not down; charity care goes UP, not down, etc.

Our documentation for these points and others appears below.

It is incumbent on the Governor, who has proposed Medicaid expansion now for the third time, to speak to expansion’s track record in other states as well as the predictions that have gone awry.

Any serious discussion of the Medicaid expansion issue would include the downsides, not just pump the glorious benefits of spending ‘free’ money like there was no tomorrow.

The Governor is on notice that the Virginia Medicaid Reform Team expects answers.  In a week, we will publish the results of this inquiry so that all Virginia residents can weigh for themselves the sufficiency of the Governor’s answers or, if he chooses not to answer, his nonresponse.

We look forward to the Governor’s expeditious replies.


  • Emergency Room Visits UP, not Down

Too few docs taking Medicaid results in INCREASE, not promised decrease, in ER visits. Source:  The Business Journal

ER visits spiked after Medicaid expansion in California (expansion sold as cutting ER visits) Source: California Healthline

Number of Medicaid patients using ER growing, ER docs say
Source: Citizen Times

ER visits up in Aspen area after Medicaid expansion, following national trend boosters said could not happen
Source: Aspen Public Radio

Wrong Again: ER use UP not down as promised; problem to get worse b/c Medicaid expansion did NOT boost access
Source: New Pittsburgh Courier

ER usage up 5.6% in Medicaid expansion states, versus 1.8% in states that refused
Source: Forbes

What the geniuses have wrought: not unusual to see Medicaid patient who has a headache to come to ER for free Advil
Source: Spectator

Sen. Cassidy: real-life story of how Medicaid patients end up in ER after finding they don’t have ‘access’ to docs.
Source: The Advocate

  • Charity Care UP, not Down

Unpaid hospital bills going UP, not down, in Minnesota after Medicaid expansion
Source:  Minnpost


  • Other

Medicaid wellness incentives mostly a flop so far
Source: Kaiser Health News

Harvard study throws cold water on integrated care concept for dual eligibles; no effect on rehospitalization
Source: Insurance News Net

Medicaid expansion beneficiaries way more expensive than expected
Source: Modern Healthcare