With Repeal Effort Stymied, Sen. Johnson Opens Probe Of Medicaid Expansion Costs In 8 States

The investigation signals that congressional Republicans may turn from efforts to repeal the health law and seek other ways to corral health spending. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) says he wants to know if states got Medicaid funding by wrongly signing up people as expansion enrollees.


The Wall Street Journal:
GOP Senator Is Examining Whether Some States Got Undue Medicaid Funds


A Republican senator who co-sponsored failed legislation to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act is looking at whether some states may have been getting federal money under the law’s Medicaid expansion that they aren’t entitled to. The probe by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin suggests that some Republicans, fresh off their congressional effort to repeal the health law and its expansion, will now zero in on other potential ways to rein in the program and its costs. (Armour, 9/27)


The Hill:
GOP Senator Probes Rising Medicaid Costs 


Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is investigating whether certain states are receiving more federal Medicaid dollars than they should, leading to burgeoning costs. Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is making the push one day after the ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill that he cosponsored failed. (Sullivan, 9/27)


Detroit Free Press:
Senator To Gov. Snyder: Why Is Michigan Spending So Much On Medicaid?


Questioning costs incurred under the Medicaid expansion program authorized under the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said, “Federal expenditures under this expansion are soaring” in the Healthy Michigan program, which offers Medicaid coverage to people making between 100% and 138% of the federal poverty limit at reduced costs in exchange for them taking on healthy behaviors. Snyder’s office didn’t immediately respond to the letter from Johnson. (Spangler, 9/27)


Illinois News Network:
U.S. Senate Panel Investigating ‘Soaring’ Medicaid Costs In Illinois, 7 Other States


The letter to [Gov. Bruce] Rauner says the costs of Medicaid expansion in Illinois exceed initial estimates by 90 percent. … Johnson asked Rauner to provide information about new Medicaid enrollees in Illinois in 2016 and 2017, an explanation for why enrollment is increasing significantly faster than expected, why the per-enrollee costs increased significantly, and what the state’s eligibility thresholds are.(9/27)


Honolulu Star-Advertiser:
U.S. Sen. Johnson Questions Hawaii’s Medicaid Spending


The chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs wants Gov. David Ige to explain what caused a rapid escalation in spending in Hawaii on Medicaid …. The letter also asks for information on why the costs for new enrollees have been increasing so rapidly, and whether the state has conducted or commissioned audits of those costs or the enrollees’ eligibility. The letter also seeks “all documents and communications between and among employees or contractors of Hawaii” regarding determination of eligibility. (Dayton, 9/27)


New Hampshire Union Leader:
Gov. Sununu Pressed For Answers On High Medicaid Costs


Federal expenditures on Medicaid are “soaring in New Hampshire and per-enrollee spending is rising exponentially,” according to the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, who wants some answers from Gov. Chris Sununu. In a three-page letter delivered Wednesday morning, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., submitted a list of questions designed to determine why the cost for new Medicaid beneficiaries in the state is rising so dramatically, up 253 percent from 2014 to 2015. (Solomon, 9/27)


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