The truth about the latest Medi-scare
Here's how you know you have a product or an idea that just won't sell: You have to bully or coerce people to get their buy-in.
We see it all the time with the union bosses. They're always extolling the virtues of unions, but fundamentally they fail to answer this question: If your union is so great, why do you need laws forcing people to join it?
The same goes for Medicaid.
When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the federal government had no right to force states to expand the government-run health insurance program for low-income individuals, some states, including Pennsylvania, decided they wouldn't bother.
Gov. Tom Corbett is exhibiting exemplary leadership by refusing to expand the program (and I do hope Corbett continues to stand strong and that I will not be forced to eat those words). But the hysterical and special-interest-funded advocates of Medicaid expansion are pushing a new argument to coerce states into the scheme. They claim that unless a state expands, its employers will be subjected to increased tax penalties.
Like all things regarding ObamaCare and particularly Medicaid, the pro-ObamaCare, pro-Medicaid advocates are misunderstanding the complicated and complex health-care law when they use this new Medi-scare tactic.
This argument is obviously flawed for several reasons.
As health-care policy experts have argued, the employer penalty tax will only hit businesses in states that have state-based exchanges. And guess what Corbett did to protect us? He blocked the creation of a state-based exchange. Arguing that states like Pennsylvania, which refused a state exchange and is rejecting Medicaid expansion, will now see employer-mandate taxes is outright false.
Let's say, for the hysterical left-wingers' sake, that the tax does end up applying to businesses in states with federal and partnership exchanges. Well, then the tax would only apply to businesses when their employees purchase insurance through the exchange and only if the employer-sponsored insurance is unaffordable.
Even some supporters of the president's law admit that many people will instead opt to pay the individual mandate penalty, only $95 in 2014, instead of spending the time, effort and money to purchase insurance on a health insurance exchange — even with the federal tax subsidy.
Additionally, individuals could have employer-sponsored insurance options available to them as well. So even if the tax does apply, it will be insignificant, not the $1.3 billion floating through the media.
Supporters of the president's health-care law are worried that states won't be willing participants in the flawed expansion of the broken and costly Medicaid system. So now they are resorting to false statements and arguments to scare states into acting.
Perhaps they aren't being disingenuous and just don't understand their beloved, complicated regulatory nightmare. Regardless of the reasons for false statements, states should ignore the arguments and instead look at the facts.
Jennifer Stefano is Pennsylvania director of Americans for Prosperity and a commentator on Lincoln Radio Journal.
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.
- Penguins notebook: Martin not concerned about expiring contract
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger hurting after big hit
- Police: Barracks ambush suspect sought mass murder
- Auditor General to expand Education audit to include Tomalis
- Southmoreland student injured in school assault
- E-68 respiratory virus identified in Pennsylvania
- Former Pirates pitcher Tekulve doing well after heart transplant
- State awards six Western Pennsylvania schools mentoring grants
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle quiet on rotation plans
- Improved economy drives first decline in the national poverty rate in 7 years
- Convict’s wish for assisted suicide OK’d in Belgium