Government Handouts, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money

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Pam Gencarella has a good article on GoLocalProv, describing some of the ways Rhode Island’s handout programs seem always to cost more than expected.  As she says, the state’s ObamaCare health benefits exchange, HealthSource RI, is “not much more than a big advertising campaign for Medicaid and its expansion.” The state’s Medicaid expenses prove the point, with the November revised estimate adding $211 million (10%) in costs.

Meanwhile, despite the exchange’s offering thousands of people subsidized health insurance and more than one-quarter of the state on Medicaid (not to mention Medicare), the bill for uncompensated care is up 16%, to $137 million.

Gencarella also brings up the Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP), which is designed to cascade all government handout programs to those who qualify for any of them.  Her focus is on the budgetary effects of UHIP’s intent, but even the cost of the program massive.  According to Pam, “the total projected cost for this project is $229 million.”

If I may throw another log on the fire, as I noted in last year’s Spotlight on Spending report, UHIP was projected, at that time, to cost $209 million.  There’s another mysterious 10% increase!

Really, Rhode Island, we have to make this stop.



  • George from Warwick

    Seriously under·estimating costs is how they get the camel’s nose under the tent. After what·ever program is enacted based on those flawed estimates, then it’s “too late” to go back and eliminate it

    For what it’s worth, this doesn’t just happen here in Li’l Rhody =►

    When Medicare started [ in 1966 ], its supporters estimated that the program would cost $12 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars in 1990. The actual inflation-adjusted price tag came to $107 billion

    source: http://reason.com/archives/2012/07/23/generational-warfare/1

    I can’t wait to see what the “estimate” for the cost of the new baseball stadium in LaProv is gonna be vs what it ultimately ends up actually costing

    • Warrington Faust

      Fromn the taxpayer’s point of view, it is “overspending”. From a politician’s point of view, it is a “shortfall of revenue”.

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