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Categorized | OpEd, Opinion

Governor McAuliffe’s Medicaid Argument

Governor McAuliffe was on WTOP’s “Ask The Governor” this morning, making his case for Medicaid Expansion through the Affordable Care Act. I was in my truck, so I couldn’t call in, but listening to the Governor while driving is probably as dangerous as texting, or putting on makeup, or clipping ones’ toenails while operating a vehicle. Let me simplify the Governors’ argument.

Premise 1: 400,000 Virginians need to be on Medicaid.

Premise 2: The Federal Government will subsidize 100% of new Medicaid Costs for two years.

Premise 3: Federal Subsidies will amount to around $5 million a day. $5 million a day for two years is $3,650,000,000.

Premise 4: $3.65 Billion dollars over two years will be spent in the state of Virginia.

Premise 5: Health Providers in Virginia are struggling under the new Affordable Care Act. Hospitals could close; ending thousands of jobs in our State.

The argument goes like this: The two most important factors in the lives of Virginians today are our jobs and health care. Adding 400,000 Virginians to Medicaid will reduce overall out-of-pocket costs to Virginians, while pouring $3.65 Billion into our economy over the next 24 months, which will inevitably create thousands of jobs, or at worst, prevent thousands of jobs from being lost due to hospital closings under the ACA.

The Governor believes that this is an exceptionally strong argument. He says that Republicans in the Assembly of Delegates are refusing to even give his budget a chance. He goes on to accuse them of blatant partisanship, hearkening back to the dark ages before Governor Mark Warner. This is the Washington way, not the Virginia way, McAuliffe complains; and while Republicans in the State Senate and his staff in Richmond are working tirelessly to pass a budget, the Republicans in the Assembly are stomping their feet and crying, “No, No, No!”.

I must hand it to the Governor. He made a “strong argument”. He painted the opposition as irrational and irresponsible. He believes that the Assembly will cave. He believes that they’ll have to cave. Do You?

I didn’t listen all the way to the end, but I didn’t hear one single constitutionalist or conservative make a single counter argument! That scares me to death, because it means that we don’t think we have one, or we felt that the Governors’ argument was simply too strong. Well we do have a counter argument and the Governors argument isn’t strong. Not once you really begin thinking it through.

Who are these 400,000 Virginians that all of a sudden need Medicaid? They are the 400,000 Virginians that have lost their health care due to the Affordable Care Act. They are the 400,000 Virginians who had a plan and a doctor that our President told them they could keep, but realized quickly that they couldn’t. They don’t need Medicaid, they need ObamaCare repealed, and fast. Yes, the federal government will subsidize these new costs for a couple of years, but what about five years from now? What about ten years from now? Even if the federal government continues funding 50% (through our tax dollars) after five years, we’re still talking about adding anywhere from $2.5 to $3.5 Million Dollars A Day to Virginia’s State Health Care costs! Health Care is already 17% of our state budget. Ten years from now it could be 25% to 30% of our budget. Virginia is already spending $12,600,000,000 on Health Care every year. Assuming the government subsidizes 50% of the $1,825,000,000 a year increase, that leaves Virginia Taxpayers on the hook for $912,500,000. How does the Governor propose raising the funds to pay for that? By increasing our state income tax, increasing property taxes, and the sales tax, and our newly convoluted gas tax. That’s how.

And why are our hospitals in financial jeopardy all of a sudden? Because of ObamaCare. So why is the answer to 400,000 Virginians losing their health care and half a dozen hospitals facing bankruptcy and closure due to the overreaching legislative insanity of the Federal Government, further overreaching and spending by the federal government? That’s just insane! Is anyone paying attention to the increased costs? ObamaCare is driving premiums up. 50% subsidies of new costs five years from now could cost the same as 100% subsidies today. The federal government will have to raise taxes to cover their costs and Virginia will raise taxes to cover theirs. You are going to be taxed to death from all sides, while watching your deductibles and premiums increase, and your actual health care options implode.

So no, Governor McAuliffe, I don’t think we should go along with your plan. I don’t think you have a strong argument. I don’t think the Republicans in the State Senate have our best interest at heart. I think both they and you have lost your minds and I do not believe that you should drag Virginia into the depths with you, with the Democrat Party, and with the neo-statist Republicans in Richmond or Washington D.C.

 

 

About Steven Brodie Tucker

Graduated with a degree in Philosophy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Also studied economics and political science at George Mason.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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