April 1, 2015

The left pushes expanding Medicaid to able bodied, childless adults who don’t work based on Washington’s promise to pay 100% of the cost for 3 years and 90% thereafter. But a report from casts doubt on the something for nothing theory about Washington funding everything.

The House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price is proposing repeal of Medicaid expansion in order balance the budget in Washington. As the story says, “While Price was still the vice chairman of the budget committee in 2013, he warned states against expanding. “I think they join at their own peril. There’s no guarantee that that money’s going to be there,” Price said. Paul Ryan, then chair of the committee, also spoke openly about the future of such generous federal match rates and their plan to roll back such unsustainable promises. “The notion that the federal government is going to keep matching Medicaid spending at this level is a notion that is just a faulty premise. It’s going to get cut,” Ryan said.”

Although it’s no surprise Republicans in Congress want to cut the money the left says will painlessly pay for Medicaid expansion, they aren’t the only ones. President Obama himself has proposed redoing the federal funding states use for Medicaid expansion.

As part of budget negotiations in 2011, the Obama Administration floated a plan to reduce the amount of money going to pay for the childless, able bodied adults who would get free health insurance under ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion while increasing funding for existing Medicaid patients. The idea was called the “blended rate” and the net effect would be a $60 billion cut in Medicaid funds from Washington going to the states.

The liberal Center On Budget and Policy Priorities said “The ACA gives states strong incentives to reach and enroll individuals made newly eligible for Medicaid because the federal government will pick up all of states’ costs in providing health coverage to these people in the initial years and 90 percent of the costs over the long run.  By contrast, under the blended-rate proposal, states would have to pay a much greater share of the cost of each newly eligible individual who enrolls (and a smaller share of the cost of those already eligible under current state Medicaid rules).”

A $60 billion Medicaid cut from the Obama Administration. Sounds like backtracking on Washington’s promise to pay for Medicaid expansion, doesn’t it?

Of course, that was 2011, before President Obama was reelected. He was pretending to care about deficit reduction back then. It’s doubtful he would approve any Medicaid cut today because the only thing he wants to cut now is the military.

But here’s a question for Legislators and media pundits pushing Medicaid expansion . What makes you think the next President, Democrat or Republican, won’t return to the blended formula idea when faced with exploding deficits and debt in the future?

Even if Washington doesn’t change a thing, our matching funds for Medicaid expansion will require North Carolina to put up $3 billion, draining money we need for education. And who really thinks Washington will keep its promise to pay for Medicaid expansion?

After all, as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse could have told us, the Great White Father in Washington speaks with forked tongue.