Shocker: State Obamacare Exchanges Already Seeing Cost Bloat


A lot of the focus on the battle over the state health insurance exchanges in the Obamacare law has been over states like North Dakota which have refused, so far, to implement them. But what about the states that are going ahead with implementation?

Things aren’t going so hot. The State of Minnesota just announced that their exchange has already exceeded cost estimates by 35% before it’s even implemented, and the cost to taxpayers is expected to rise another 18% in the first year after implementation.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota’s state health insurance exchange will cost $54 million in 2015 to operate, according to the Gov. Mark Dayton administration.

The cost comes in at greater than earlier estimates of $30 to $40 million. The state would not have to find the money until 2015, when the state exchanges are required to be financially self-sustaining. But the cost rises to a projected $64 million in 2016. State officials are still weighing how the exchange will pay for itself. Options include user fees, a sin tax, and selling ads.

The exchange, a cornerstone of the federal health care overhaul, will create an insurance marketplace where consumers and small businesses can comparison shop for health insurance policies starting in October of next year. Coverage would take effect in 2014.

The exchanges have always been a bad deal for states. They are “are an accounting trick designed to make ObamaCare look like less of a strain on the federal budget, shuffling billions of dollars in costs off Washington’s books and into state capitals,” writes John Hayward in Human Events.

Let the federal government bear the cost of implementing this folly, not the states.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • HG

    The state could just opt out instead of burdening their citizens with higher fees and taxes.
    I know, it makes to much fiscal sense to be a viable option in Minnesota.

  • SigFan

    Gee, whoulda’ thunk that Obamacare was going to cost more than they said it would? /sarc

    This abomination has already doubled in cost since it was passed and it hasn’t even been fully implemented yet. Following in the long trail of government programs that end up fleecing the taxpayers for exponentially more than what was proposed and passed. And yet the useful idiots of the left still haven’t learned their lesson.

  • mikemc1970

    More government bloat from the party of waste and excess.

  • HG

    There ought to be a law that if a bill cost more to implement than it is said to at the time of passage, it must be reaffirmed by both houses. The idiots who voted for this mess did so under the phony math the Obama administration boasted. I doubt they would have the votes to reaffirm after reality is setting in.

    • Dustin Gawrylow

      That falls under what is called “deficiency payments” which are generally rubber stamped by the legislature.

      • HG

        So there is some sort of process for approving deficiency payments?

  • Thresherman

    Prior to 2009, when everyone was clamoring for healthcare reform, what was wanted was a way to reduce the cost of healthcare. Instead whenever a cost savings meeasure that actually had a chance of actually lowering the cost of healthcare, the Democrats pooh-poohed it and it was never to be brought up again. That is because Obamacare was designed to be a gateway to singlepayer and in that light, higher costs are viewed by its architects as a feature and not a bug.

  • geoff

    Great. Sure glad I moved to Minnesota. Democrat house, democrat senate, and a governor who has pledged to raise taxes. Now this!!! Rob, why don’t you just drive over hear and kick me in the balls.

    • Mike Young

      Looks like you are in the same sinking boat that Illinois citizens are in with a Democratically controlled Senate, Democratically Controlled House and a Democratic Governor that doesn’t care at all about the citizens of Illinois just as long as they can continue their same old tax and spend policies that fail to work. And as long as the Legislatures and Governor continue to get paid their salaries as well.

  • G Whiz

    A Buck here, a buck there… wtf. Cost overruns will never take the tarnish off Obamas jewel. 10:1 odds says Dalrymple blinks by years end, on the exchanges. Obama craps, senate steps around it, congress slips on it and it ends up squarely in our lap as a S### Sandwich. Personally, I am going stealth until someone gets the kahunas to take it to the streets. Then the fun begins

  • VocalYokel

    “Let the federal government bear the cost of implementing this folly, not the states.”

    Since the federal government produces nothing of value that can be sold or bartered for the required ducats, where will they get the money?

  • Sarah_1

    A government program costs more than promised…and this is a shocker? I would be shocked if it didn’t. And here’s a prediction for you – the cost will increase quite a bit more by the time its operational. (Thats sort of like predicting that the sun will rise in the east, isn’t it.) The exchanges will be a disaster. But not as bad as the rest of the obamacare monstrosity.

  • TonysTake

    Stupidest thing I have ever seen. So we don’t just have one exchange… we have 50 of them all doing the same thing. Just stinking great. I’m willing to bet that there are many private companies who would jump at the chance to provide this information to every state at a total cost of $100M. It it written somewhere that government inefficiency is a required part of this asinine law?

  • jeffykay

    Is there really any shock about this? I mean it was expected,, Think about this, as the country grows into more and more debt,, when it does finally goes bankrupt there will be no more health care for anyone because since it will be a government function it will become bankrupt too,, then no one will have any health care,,

  • Mike Young

    Sin Taxes don’t exist, it is just a made up name in order to tax products that the Federal and State claim fall under these so-called Sin taxes at a higher rate than other taxable items, All items should be taxes at the same apportioned rate. No items that are taxed should be taxed at a higher rate than anything else.