December 22, 2014

The Governor of Tennessee says he wants to expand Medicaid benefits to able bodied people who don’t work using ObamaCare. And he says it won’t cost the state anything. Sure. And the Loch Ness Monster and the tooth fairy live in Tennessee.

According to the Wall Street Journal, ”Mr. Haslam said that under his plan, the state would take federal dollars to extend coverage to individuals who earn up to $16,100, and set slightly higher limits for larger households. He pledged the extension would run for two years, initially as a pilot program, and that the state wouldn’t incur any additional costs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government pays 100% of the costs of Medicaid expansion through 2016, and at least 90% thereafter. The Tennessee Hospital Association, which had pushed for the expansion, has committed the industry to covering some additional costs to the state, said Mr. Haslam and the group.”

So get this straight. The Governor thinks he can expand Medicaid for only two years. And then the hospitals will pay everything presumably by tacking a surcharge on bills or else the new entitlement goes away.

Only entitlements hardly ever go away. In 2009, North Carolina’s Democrat Legislature tried to cut Medicaid home healthcare benefits. Even though home healthcare is an optional benefit under Medicaid states don’t have to give, the courts still blocked the cut.

In fact, courts across the country have blocked state attempts to cut Medicaid. Once you’re in, you stay in.

No. Entitlements rarely go away. And believing Tennessee taxpayers can get ObamaCare expansion for nothing s like believing the Abominable Snowman hangs out at Graceland.

ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion will cost North Carolina taxpayers $3 billion. And it’ll be like the Bates Motel in the classic movie Psycho. Norman Bates will let us check in but he’ll never let us check out.