The fact that so many states are opposing the expansion of Medicaid that comes with Obamacare is a sign of the crazy political world in which we live, where many conservative Republicans automatically oppose whatever President Obama favors. After the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare but limited the ability of the government to impose the expansion of Medicaid, some Governors, such as Texas’s Rick Perry and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal have taken a hard line against accepting more people into the program, even though the federal government pays virtually the entire cost.
Rejecting Medicaid expansion will cost the states dearly. The only way this is a rational strategy is if it helps to undermine Obamacare and thereby lead to its ultimate demise. This does appear to be what Perry and his brethren are attempting.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has taken the more rational approach. She realizes that the Medicaid expansion is the key to making the budget math work in her state. She’s so convinced that she’s put a heavy squeeze on her fellow Republicans in the legislature who prefer the Perry path. Lo and behold she’s come away a victor and Arizona will move forward with Medicaid expansion.
Obamacare will hit some bumps –thanks in large part to foes obstructing its implementation — but will ultimately prevail. In the end Perry, Jinal et al. won’t look good and will have done lasting damage to their states. The Jan Brewers of the world will look much better in retrospect.June 17, 2013