Medicaid Expansion could result in higher taxes or cuts to other programs
JEFFERSON CITY – As the state legislature debates over Medicaid expansion, Americans for Prosperity – Missouri has released a new radio ad reminding legislators of the high cost to taxpayers. The ad, which opens with the roar of a chainsaw, explains how expanding the state Medicaid program as called for under ObamaCare, to cover people up to 138% of the poverty line, could entail cuts to other state program, higher taxes, or both.
“Expanding Medicaid in any form will impose a heavy fiscal burden and likely entail future cuts to essential services, higher taxes, or both,” explained Patrick Werner, Missouri State Director of Americans for Prosperity. “Common wisdom holds that if something sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. That is certainly the case with the promises of “free money” from the federal government, which is already $17 trillion in debt, to partially pay for Medicaid expansion, as requested by President Obama. The reality is that expanding Medicaid will impose a huge burden on federal taxpayers and ultimately on Missourians, when the federal government’s deal-sweetening cash dries up and leaves Missouri on the hook for the hundreds of thousands of low-income Missourians dumped on our broken Medicaid program.”
A recent article in Forbes explains the problems with the so-called “private option” version of Medicaid expansion being considered in Missouri:“”While the “Private Option” plans are required to look almost exactly the same as Old Medicaid from an enrollee’s perspective, the plan does have one big difference from a straight “traditional” ObamaCare Medicaid expansion: state taxpayers are on the hook for all cost overruns. The trend of enrollment in the first few months project a cost overrun of tens of millions of dollars for 2014 alone, with potential overruns growing larger in the future”
Werner continued: “Taking a chainsaw to the state budget in order to spend more on unproven health policy is irresponsible and dangerous. Legislators have a duty to consider the best ways to help the poor, not merely throw more money at the problem and expect taxpayers to pick up the bill. Given administration’s trend of extending deadlines and unilaterally waiving entire provisions in the ObamaCare law, legislators should be skeptical of any assurances about the federal government paying the costs of expansion. Instead, Missouri should take heed of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that states cannot be coerced into expanding Medicaid and focus on reforming the program and finding better ways to cover the uninsured.”