Conservatives have taken heat in Texas for refusing the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion favored by Democrats and liberal Republicans. But that decision is looking better every day with the Associated Press this weekend reporting that more than a dozen states now face severe fiscal strain after chasing the promise of free money from the Obama Administration.
States were asked to expand their Medicaid roles by making it easier to get benefits on the state-administered health insurance program originally designed for the indigent. Over the last decade, Medicaid programs around the country – including Texas – have grown exponentially, often fraught with fraud and corruption.
Obama’s proposal was for the federal government to pay the cost of Medicaid expansion through 2016, then shifting the cost to the states. But once in the programs, the states wouldn’t be allowed to modify their programs even once the federal government wasn’t paying the tab.
In Texas, liberal Republicans in the House conspired with Democrats in 2011 and 2013 to expand Medicaid. Former Gov. Rick Perry made opposition to Medicaid expansion key to his budget proposals, a policy continued by Gov. Greg Abbott this year.
In 2013, 15 House Republicans publicly voted to insert Texas into the Obama Administration’s Medicaid expansion scam, including State Reps. John Zerwas (R-Simonton), J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville), Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), John Raney (R-College Station), Wayne Smith (R-Baytown), and Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels).
Fortunately, they were stopped by conservatives.
According to the Associated Press, one state that fell for the promises of cost-free Medicaid expansion was Kentucky. More than double the number of projected participants have signed up for the government program, causing the cost of Medicaid expansion there to jump from $33 million to $74 million. If they stay with it, Kentucky will see Medicaid expansion costing the state $363 million.
California, meanwhile, has nearly a million more people on Medicaid than had been forecasted.
Meanwhile, Medicaid is a fundamentally flawed system. Studies show the poor health outcomes for people sucked into the program. At best, a recent study in Oregon found no health outcomes of being on Medicaid as opposed to being uninsured. (Perhaps it is because everyone can get health care, regardless of being insured.)
As other states’ budgets collapse under the weight of Medicaid expansion, Texans can be glad conservatives thwarted the plans of the House’ governing coalition of Democrats and liberal Republicans.