Obamacare Pays for Lottery Tickets

08/24/2012 - 11:10am

When Nancy Pelosi said we'd have to pass Obamacare before we'd find out what's in it, no one expected to find that Obamacare funds would be used to purchase lottery tickets. But that's exactly what the state of New York plans to do with part of the grant money it will receive under Obamacare's Medicaid Incentives for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases program.

Under the program, the state of New York has received a $2 million grant to be used to pay people to be healthy.[1] Of the 18,456 participants in the program 13,842 participants will each receive an average of $115-$122 in incentives for healthy actions like:

  • going to the doctor;

  • filling and taking certain prescribed medications;

  • attending certain health education classes and programs;

  • losing weight; and

  • quitting smoking[2]

Most of the incentives will be direct cash payments, but lottery tickets will be given to those who participate in the diabetes prevention program.[3]
In all, the program will give away $85 million dollars over five years. 10 states have received grants under the program including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin.[4]

[1] http://www.innovations.cms.gov/initiatives/MIPCD/states-awarded.html
[2] http://www.innovations.cms.gov/Files/x/MIPCD-NY.pdf
[3] http://www.innovations.cms.gov/Files/x/MIPCD-NY.pdf
[4] http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/factsheet.asp?Counter=4114&intNumPer...