GOP senator probes rising Medicaid costs

GOP senator probes rising Medicaid costs
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonOvernight Cybersecurity: Panel pushes agencies on dropping Kaspersky software | NC county won't pay ransom to hackers | Lawmakers sound alarm over ISIS 'cyber caliphate' GOP chairman warns of ISIS's ‘cyber caliphate’ Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him MORE (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.

His letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and eight governors points to rising costs under the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid.

It asks whether some states could be wrongly classifying some enrollees under the expansion of the program because the federal government pays a higher rate under the expansion than under traditional Medicaid.

“Federal Medicaid expenditures totaled $246 billion in fiscal year 2009, increased to $299 billion in fiscal year 2014 and are projected to rise 96 percent to $588 billion by 2025,” Johnson writes. “A primary cause of this increase is the ACA Medicaid expansion.”

The letter singles out states that Johnson says have particularly high costs: California, West Virginia, Illinois, New York, Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan and Hawaii.

Johnson requests a range of documents, including how the CMS verifies eligibility for Medicaid.