Tuesday, October 6, 2009

State Budgets to be pushed over the brink by Medicaid expansion.

President Obama declared before the joint session of Congress, a few weeks back, that he will not sign a health care reform bill that adds one "dime" to the National Debt. Both the H.R. 3200 and the Baucus Bill have language to expand Medicaid to cover more low-income people. State budgets are already stressed and one of the provision under current Medicaid programs is that states cannot cut benefits instead states must cut other aspects of their budgets. "If the federal government wants to expand health care to everybody in the country, they should not force the states to pay part of the bill. If they want to do that, the federal government should pay for it," said Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi (http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009909150314).

Rep. Shelley Capito (R-W.VA) echoes the concerns governors have when she said, "We're talking about legislation with a staggering trillion dollar price tag, and now we're hearing from the governors about how this will hit state budgets as well. The reality is that funding Medicaid is tough for every state right now and there are real bipartisan questions about the way this legislation is moving forward in both houses of Congress" (http://www.dailymail.com/News/200910050806). While many in Congress, along with the Governors, see the benefits in the expansion of Medicaid the fear comes in the expansion of their already taxed budgets.

California just had a "garage sale" to raise funds to help payback some their IOU's. In Minnesota, Governor Pawlenty had to use unallotment to balance the budget. The federal government has for years been overstepping their Constitutional role by mandating legislation unto the states. It is time for the governors of each state to stand up and defend State Rights from the tyranny of the federal government. The promise made by President Obama as to not raising taxes on those making less than $250,000 will go out the window if Congress passing health care reform that expands Medicaid coverage. Granted the tax hike will not come from the federal government; rather it will come at the state level. This portion of the health care reform is a Ponzi scheme and violates the Constitutional rights afforded the States.