This is a great idea that Rhode Island should pursue, as reported by Michelle Hackman in the Wall Street Journal:
Ms. Verma, a health policy consultant, made a name for herself as the architect of Indiana’s Medicaid expansion program under then-Gov. Mike Pence, which that state administered through a federal waiver. Ms. Verma struck a deal with the Obama administration allowing Indiana to charge enrollees under the expansion monthly premiums.
There is no reason childless, able-bodied adults relying on a government welfare-insurance program can’t pay something to give them a stake in their coverage. From the beginning, we’ve seen examples of people who were willing to pay for private insurance, but who discovered their eligibility for a free plan through Medicaid.
Moreover, the state of Rhode Island never should have leaped into the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion with so little thought. Some of us warned at the time that the state shouldn’t count on the federal government holding the share it would pay at 90%, particularly as part of an unpopular and entirely partisan bill. Since the state government conducted absolutely zero public debate over whether to accept the expansion, we can only surmise that elected officials and bureaucrats in Rhode Island either didn’t care to look that far ahead or counted on their ability to do what they’re trying to do now: get political mileage out of the federal government’s predictable move and attempt to transfer the burden to state-level taxpayers.