Will Not Expand Medicaid
Two Republican governors said Wednesday they will not back expanding their states' Medicaid programs as allowed under the 2010 healthcare law, saying the extra costs would burden their states.
The decisions by Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Mike Pence of Indiana leave 10 remaining Republicans who have yet to decide on expanding their participating in the federal-state healthcare program for the poor. All of the governors have come under heavy lobbying by healthcare providers who say the economic benefits are too good to ignore.
In Wisconsin, Walker outlined a hybrid approach that involves tightening income eligibility for Medicaid, lifting a cap on a program that covers childless adults and forcing more people to buy insurance through a government-run marketplace known as an exchange.
Pence was not as definitive as Walker, saying that he would not expand Medicaid but asked Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow the state to use its Healthy Indiana Program to serve the expanded Medicaid population.
"Medicaid is broken," said Pence, adding that expanding it would cost "upwards of $2 billion over the next seven years."
Walker and Pence bucked the recent trend that had seen six Republican governors back expansion. They are from Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio and Nevada. Thirteen Republican governors have declined to participate, and 10 others have not announced a decision...
In Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott is undecided, a recent poll found that 60% of residents would like to see Medicaid expanded, Mendelson said. Several economic studies have found the states may benefit both by federal funds going into local economies, as well as taxes from those sales going back into the coffers of local government.
Scott originally said he worried that expanding Medicaid would cost the state too much money. But since a Georgetown University study found Florida would save about $300 million in 2014, and $100 million in 2020 -- after the state takes on 10% of costs, Scott has stopped saying Florida was an absolute no for expansion.
Those backing expansion said the added financial benefits outweighed their opposition to the healthcare law.
In Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer said last month that she supported expansion because she worried that if she didn't participate, her constituents' federal tax money would go into the national Medicaid pot and not help Arizonans.
Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan said expanding Medicaid would save his state $200 million a year.
In North Dakota, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Republican dislike of the law should not stop his state from expanding Medicaid.
All states with Democrat governors have either chosen to participate or are leaning toward participating.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 02/13/2013
Editor's Note: So, Republican governors who consent to expanding Medicaid do so because of federal dollars and economics? What part of "expanding entitlement" and "government expansion" do they not understand?...Bottom line, if you feed at the federal money trough you are championing an expansion of federal government...
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