Nearly 450,000 people have signed up in just five months since North Carolina opened up enrollment for those newly eligible courtesy of Medicaid expansion, according to Axios.

Expansion advocates estimated 600,000 people would become newly eligible, a number that looks like it may be reached and exceeded in short order.

Total enrollment in the state’s Medicaid program has reached just under 3 million, meaning that more than 1 in 4 North Carolinians are reliant on this government program for their healthcare coverage.

More than 1 in 4 North Carolinians are now reliant on Medicaid for their healthcare coverage.

The prospective enrollment overrun should come as no surprise, however. As early as 2016, expansion opponents reported that expansion states had enrolled more than twice as many adults as predicted.

What sort of budgetary impact has expansion had?

As of the end of March, state spending on Medicaid is up $748 million compared to this time last year, equal to a 24% increase. And that’s just with data capturing four months’ worth of expansion enrollment. Expansion may not be the only reason for the rapid increase, but it’s a significant one.

Medicaid expansion was always, and remains, a bad deal for North Carolinians. As the already stretched-thin government program rapidly swells with hundreds of thousands of new enrollees, they will quickly begin to find out that coverage does not mean access to care.