Why states should say "No" to ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion.
Those who apparently believe that money truly grows on trees also suggest that ObamaCare's enormous expansion of Medicaid is a good deal for the states. Actually, it's a variation of the federal government's “trust us” trap.
Never mind the inevitable strings attached to any federal beneficence. Think of the No Child Left Behind fiasco, followed by federal waivers for states — if they jump through the right hoops.
Now state governors are supposed to believe that pouring more poor people into the broken Medicaid system somehow will fix it. After meeting last week with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Gov. Tom Corbett says he won't support this blind bargain without substantial changes. And for good reason.
An analysis by Grace-Marie Turner of the nonprofit Galen Institute (funded in part by the pharmaceutical and medical industries) provides some insights. The federal pitch is based on the faulty presumption that Big Government will honor its pledge to cover “100 percent” of the cost for adding uninsured people to Medicaid until 2016, at which point reimbursement drops to 90 percent.
But as Jennifer Stefano of Americans for Prosperity points out, Congress today “cannot guarantee what money future congresses will ever give the states.” And based on a 2011 congressional study, Ms. Turner reports that the Medicaid expansion will cost the states at least $118 billion through 2023.
The worst, most contemptible government schemes begin with the lure of “free” money — enough to sucker recipients into an eventual cost they cannot afford.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.