Oh, my. Who would ever have guessed that the efforts of former Oregon governor Retread's implementation of Obamacare would ever come to this? Why, in addition to spending $300 million on a nonfunctional website, it looks as though tossing all of those people into Medicaid (which Retread boasted about) is going to cost us even more:
Amid the embarrassing collapse of Cover Oregon, the state's failed health insurance enrollment website, then-Gov. John Kitzhaber and lawmakers found solace in an unrelated success - a massive hike in enrollment in the Oregon Health Plan.
The Health Plan is Oregon's Medicaid program, and as hundreds of thousands of people became newly eligible last year under President Barack Obama's health care law, 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 2013 report estimated that the Medicaid expansion would cost the state $217 million in the 2017-2019 biennium, the first full two-year budget cycle in which the state begins shouldering some of the costs.
The Oregon Health Authority now projects it will cost $369 million, about 70 percent more.
By 2020, Medicaid's share of the total state budget is projected to grow from the current 6.2 percent to nearly 10 percent.
The figures assume the federal government doesn't change the state's share of the price tag and that Oregon doesn't take other actions to reduce the cost of Medicaid, such as reducing payments to doctors.
Really? Yes, there's an idea: let's cut payments to doctors, so that even more will refuse to accept Medicaid patients! So, let's see: Retread's failed "CoverOregon" cost $300 million, and his ramming of thousands into Medicaid will require us to spend - at minimum - $369 million more. Such a deal!
I'm planning to run our dog for governor as a Democrat. He can't do any worse.