April 21, 2017

Thanks to a few limelight-seeking politicians, Obamacare and its Medicaid expansion will likely never be cut, much less repealed, as momentum to act has come and gone.

The Wall Street Journal says states from Kansas to Maine are again pushing Obamacare expansion, including Governor Cooper’s illegal Medicaid expansion push right here in North Carolina.

But what is the real morality of expanding Medicaid to single, childless, able-bodied adults?

In North Carolina, a brain injured child eating on a feeding tube and breathing with a ventilator is probably on Medicaid, depending on family income. And Washington funds 66% of the cost.

However, under Governor Cooper’s Medicaid expansion for single, childless, able-bodied adults, Washington pays 90% of the cost. That was Obama’s fiscal heroin to get states hooked on Medicaid expansion.

In a recession, with state revenue falling and Medicaid applications soaring, a politician wearing green eye shades will save more money by cutting disabled children than able-bodied adults, since the state pays more for disabled children than adults who can work but don’t. That’s the immorality of Cooper’s Obamacare expansion. It rewards the truly greedy who won’t help themselves, while threatening the truly needy who can’t help themselves. Those are the wrong values for North Carolina.

Even before Medicaid expansion, 52% of nondisabled, working-age adults on Medicaid in North Carolina, who presumably could work, don’t.

That’s one of the nation’s lowest rates and may be justified since we cover many pregnant women and moms (Overall, 71% of moms work in the Labor force, many perhaps because taxpayers aren’t paying their bills.)

The Trump Administration has made clear states can apply for waivers to require Medicaid recipients to work. The Program Evaluation Division should gather information on why 52% of working age adults, who presumably could work, just don’t – not even for a few days. Then legislators can determine if we need a work requirement here.