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Disentangling the ACA’s Coverage Effects — Lessons for Policymakers

October 27, 2016
By Molly Frean, B.A., Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D., and Benjamin D. Sommers, M.D., Ph.D.

Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber's new study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows most Medicaid enrollees under the Affordable Care Act were previously eligible for Medicaid, meaning the federal government has overpaid for their insurance.

Health Care News reported in December 2016:

Most enrollees in state Medicaid expansion programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were eligible for the government-sponsored health insurance program before the law went into effect, with federal taxpayers consequently paying a higher share of states’ Medicaid bills than they should, according to a study by one of ACA’s architects.

Approximately 63 percent of individuals who gained insurance under ACA in 2014 obtained coverage through Medicaid, states a New England Journal of Medicine article coauthored by Jonathan Gruber in October 2016.

Only about one-third of that 63 percent (19 percent of all people newly insured under ACA) were made newly eligible for financial assistance by their state’s Medicaid expansion program. The remaining two-thirds of new Medicaid enrollees were “children and adults who were already eligible for the program before 2014. This population accounted for 44 percent of the coverage increase,” the article states.

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