North Dakotans should be uncomfortable with the proposed expansion of Medicaid.
The federal government offers between $100 million and $150 million during the 2013-15 biennium to insure 20,000 to 30,000 additional residents, mostly adults. It would cost the state more than $300,000 to administer the program.
While North Dakota can afford its share, the federal government already has a nearly $17 trillion debt and can ill afford to add to it. Further, this is within the context of a vigorous North Dakota economy with as close to full employment as is possible, less than 3 percent unemployed.
What percentage of North Dakotans ought to be dependent on government for health insurance? Presently, 66,322 North Dakotans are enrolled in Medicaid, or about 9 percent of the state’s population. Add covering 20,000 adults to that number, and the percentage enrolled in Medicaid rises to 12 percent of the population.