Ideological Republican Legislatures Blocking Attempts At Expanding Medicaid By More Pragmatic GOP Governors

Governors are often more pragmatic than other politicians, having to actually run the state government and consider fiscal realities. Accepting Medicaid expansion is an obvious decision for governors, as long as they consider economic factors rather than Republican ideology, as the federal government picks up most of the cost. The federal government pays 100 percent of the cost of Medicaid expansion for the first three years with this gradually dropping to 90 percent in 2020. In contrast, the federal government pays approximately half the cost of the original Medicaid program,with state governments responsible for the rest.

So far some Republican-run state governments have accepted and others have rejected Medicaid expansion. Additional Republican governors would like to participate in the expanded Medicaid system but this is being blocked by more ideological members of the state legislature. AP reports:

Partisan politics have driven states’ Medicaid decisions ever since the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that expansion was optional, not mandatory, under the new law. Within months, every Democratic governor agreed to expand Medicaid (although Republican legislatures blocked a few of those efforts).

Only nine states with Republican governors accepted the offer…

The law expanded Medicaid eligibility to adults with annual incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That will qualify an individual making less than $16,105, and a family of four earning less than $32,913.

So far, 27 states have agreed to expand Medicaid. But several more, including some with Republican governors, now want in. These governors note that their residents pay the federal taxes that fund expansions, so declining to participate amounts to subsidizing other states without receiving benefits.

Several Republican governors and one independent are meeting Republican legislative resistance to their expansion proposals. Some have tried to woo conservatives by adding “free enterprise” provisions, which require federal approval.

Perhaps the most aggressive GOP governor is Bill Haslam of Tennessee, who won re-election in November. Meeting with newspapers and others, Haslam now says Medicaid expansion is “morally and fiscally the right thing to do.”

The full article also reports on Republican legislatures blocking Medicaid expansion in Wyoming and Alaska, as well as reporting that “Arkansas could become the first state to rescind a decision to expand Medicaid.”

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5 Comments

  1. 1
    David Duff says:

    Of course, there’s nothing “ideological” about the Democrat party, oh dear me, no, perish the thought!

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    First of all, it is Democratic Party. It a sign of being overly ideological when you cannot call a political party by its proper name.

    Secondly, the Democratic Party does not ignore science and facts the way that Republicans frequently do, placing ideology over good policy.

    Thirdly, the post primarily compares the position of Governor to members of a legislature. Regardless of party, in general governors will be more pragmatic than members of a legislature (obviously with exceptions).

  3. 3
    David Duff says:

    I have learned over the years to immediately distrust any political organisation that has the word “Democratic” in it which is why, as a courtesy, I always use the shorter version for your particular party.  Lest you doubt me, try running through the list of countries whose regimes have gang-banged the word out of recognition, starting with the “Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea”.  Yeeeeeeees, quite!  The fact that your party contains some of the very worst charlatans, crooks, crypto-fascists and power-mad thugs in American politics is only equaled by those in the Republican party but at least they have the decency to avoid the humbuggery of using the word ‘Democratic’!  Lest you doubt me, try running through the mayors of sundry, er, ‘Democratic’ big cities!

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Regardless, Democratic is the proper word, and this has nothing to do with North Korea. Many totalitarian regimes take and misuse words from democracies, just as American authoritarians in the Republican Party falsely claim to be for freedom and limited government.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    There are certainly crooks in each party. The difference is that they represent a minority of Democrats while they represent the platform of the Republican Party.

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