Tarren Bragdon of the Foundation for Government Accountability devotes a Human Events column to Wyoming’s discussion of Medicaid expansion. Lessons learned from the Medicaid expansion debate in that western state could prove useful in North Carolina.

Who will this help?

Expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare will allow the states to provide comprehensive health insurance at no cost to those earning an income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. What that really means is that Wyoming will be adding tens of thousands of able-bodied, working-age, childless adults who are in their productive prime. These aren’t the people we should be trapping into a cycle of government dependency.

What might be even more alarming is the Department of Justice says one-third of all newly eligible people inMedicaid expansions states have a criminal history. A number of expansion states have already gone so far as to enroll people while they’re in prison. So if you rob someone in an expansion state, you can look forward to gold-plated healthcare on your way out the prison gates.

Who will this hurt?

Patients, plain and simple. The states are already having to make choices that sacrifice patient care for program costs. Chloe Jones, a 14-year old from Arkansas, has been denied care by state officials because their Medicaid program is too strapped to pay for her desperately-needed treatment. The money is instead going to the thousands of working-age adults Arkansas added to Medicaid under their multi-billion dollar expansion program.

Even patients whose care is covered are having a hard time finding a doctor. Medicaid enrollment in Nevada went from 330,000 people in Sept. 2013, to over 600,000 in Aug. 2014 under their expansion. But the number of doctors didn’t increase by 50 percent. That means patients are having to wait months to see someone, and even after they get an appointment, are experiencing all-day waits.

This is on top of the erosion of care for our seniors, who will have their Medicare services cut by $716 Billion to help fund Medicaid expansion in the states.

How will this impact doctors?

Doctors are already seeing reimbursement rates drop. Dr. Andrew Pasternak, who runs a family practice in Reno, Nevada, claims his payments for basic office visits will drop from $75 to around $44. He’s already seeing seen a2,000 percent increase of Medicaid enrollees in his practice from last year, but he may stop seeing them altogether if the payments drop so much.

Follow the second link above for answers to “How much will this cost?” and “What happens if we don’t expand?”