Wyoming Liberty Group
When progressives make the case for Medicaid Expansion, without fail they remind their listeners that the federal government has pledged to cover 90 percent of the cost of expansion. But a report from the Foundation for Government Accountability sheds light on just how empty the federal government’s promises really are. On multiple occasions, the federal government has reneged on its commitments to cover the cost of programs it collaborates with states to fund, leaving them with billions of dollars in additional obligations. And while the Obama Administration has continued to market Medicaid Expansion as “free money” to the state legislatures, the White House has proposed changes to Medicaid’s cost-sharing formula that would substantially increase the proportion of the program’s expenses that states will be stuck paying.
Charlie Katebi and Chuck Gray from KVOC discuss the Federal Government’s Medicaid Expansion promises and why you should think twice before believing them. May 13, 2015
Throughout the debate to expand Medicaid during the 2015 Legislative Session, opponents repeatedly claimed that the federal government couldn’t be trusted to keep its promise to cover 90 percent of Medicaid Expansion’s costs. So it should come as no surprise that the Obama Administration has now broached the idea of reneging on its existing financial promises. In a letter to the Deputy Secretary of Medicaid in Florida, the head of the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (or CMS) threatened to withhold funding to a Medicaid pilot program in the Sunshine State unless it expanded Medicaid. If successful, the federal government would have found a way to undermine the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision on Medicaid Expansion and foist a federal program that delivers woefully inferior healthcare onto millions more patients.
On the day before April Fool’s Day, Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center buried any illusion that Medicaid Expansion will improve access to health care. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court barred doctors, dentists and pharmacists from suing states for allegedly curtailing reimbursements for care they provide to Medicaid patients. Although the ruling doesn’t directly impact Medicaid’s promise to provide quality care for the poor, fulfilling that promise requires a wide and accessible network of physicians. By this metric, Medicaid hasn’t fulfilled its pledge for years and the Supreme Court just made it official.
On KGAB, Charles Katebi discusses the recent Supreme Court decision around Medicaid reimbursement rates and what it means for Wyoming. April 10, 2015
Ever since David King sued the federal government for illegally subsidizing health insurance payments on federal exchanges, governors in states with federal exchanges have scrambled to make contingency plans. Reactions ranged from Bobby Jindal of Louisiana consulting Congressional leaders on passing an alternative to Obamacare, to Governor Snyder of Michigan demanding his state’s legislature create a state-run insurance exchange in order to continue receiving federal insurance support. Fortunately, Congress is crafting contingency plans to offer immediate relief for millions of individuals currently receiving subsidies. These Congressional plans would grant states flexibility to determine the best insurance policies for their residents. This is an opportunity for Wyoming to make substantial health insurance reforms that lower premiums and expand coverage.