Friday, February 15, 2013

This Just In – Republican Governors Can Be Bought

Holdouts Are Signing Up for Obamacare After All

The opposition of Republicans to health care reform was always astounding, because for the most part the President’s program incorporated Conservative ideas that were developed in opposition to the Clinton program.  But consistency is never a Conservative virtue, and because it was the President who proposed enacting Republican reforms, Republicans opposed them.

Now that the program is expected to go into effect, many Republican Governors have had a change of heart.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has volunteered to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer Telling the President He Has to Let Arizona
into the New Health Care Programs

Many Republicans balked at the expansion when the Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion optional in its ruling last in the summer. Supporters of the law worried that the opposition could undermine the entire health-care overhaul by shrinking the pool of Americans who would gain coverage.

But six Republican governors have since come to back the program, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday and Ohio’s John Kasich on Monday. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced her support in mid-January.

Wow, what happened?  Oh, money.

Since the court’s decision, hospitals and other health care providers have lobbied governors aggressively to expand Medicaid. The providers had accepted billions in cuts to health care reimbursements because they thought they would gain millions of newly insured patients through Medicaid.

They have teamed up with local chambers of commerce and small businesses to argue that states could net a windfall of federal dollars with little investment of their own.

Governors have become increasingly worried about getting their fair share: If they do not extend Medicaid, their federal tax dollars will still foot the bill for expansions in other states. The Obama administration has also gone out of its way to reassure governors that upcoming budget reductions will not derail the program.

“Medicaid cuts for this president are not on the table,” White House senior economic adviser Gene Sperling told a conference of health advocates last week.

Medicaid expansion is key here.  The Feds will pay all of the costs for several years, than pay 90% of the costs.  Note that the money does not go to the poor, undeserving, lazy, worthless largely women, children and elderly who would qualify for more health care.  The money actually goes into the health care system, reducing costs for everyone else.

But don’t expect all of the Republicans to come on board.  After all, they stand for principle, even if it means suffering for the most vulnerable of their citizens.  And all these Republican Governors and state legislators have fantastic health insurance, all paid for by government of course, so what do they care anyway.

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