April 9, 2015

The media says legislators don’t need to worry about paying for Medicaid expansion because Washington will always pay 90%.

Then read what Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts recently wrote about Medicaid expansion funding promises now that the federal government has skipped out on previous healthcare commitments. “Our current Medicaid program is already costing Nebraska taxpayers more and more money.

Expanding Medicaid in Nebraska is a risky proposition for taxpayers not only because of the expense but also because we cannot trust the federal government’s long-term financial commitment to state programs. History has shown that the federal government frequently makes promises of funding, and then scales back its commitment. The most recent example of this is the decision to end the federal financial commitment to CoOportunity Health, a consumer operated and oriented plan which provided private health insurance coverage to thousands of Nebraskans.

CoOportunity was started as a part of an initiative born out of Obamacare and partially funded with federal dollars. At the end of 2014, the federal government walked away from its commitment to CoOportunity, leaving the co-op insolvent and policyholders scrambling to find new coverage. If the federal government failed with CoOportunity, it would be unwise to depend on long-term funding for expanding our Medicaid program here in Nebraska.” http://www.kearneyhub.com/opinions/kearneyview/nebraska-can-t-afford-aca-s-medicaid-expansion/article_f8f5c6d4-dd39-11e4-95d4-cbc51b26847e.html

It’s easy to pass new programs Washington boasts it will cover. But what happens when costs go higher or Washington backs out like they did on Nebraska? It means no teacher raise unless we raise taxes.

And it means legislators get the blame.

Do we really need another open ended welfare entitlement for able bodied adults who don’t work? Not unless we want to drain the state budget.