The Obama administration yesterday urged North Carolina legislative leaders to reconsider expanding Medicaid, as reported by WRAL.com.
"This is actually a net budgetary benefit to those states that choose to expand Medicaid," said Josh Earnest, principal deputy press secretary for President Barack Obama. Earnest along with Durham Mayor Bill Bell and state Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, participated in a conference call with North Carolina-based reporters today.
All three pressed the point that expanding the health insurance program would allow 377,000 North Carolina residents to obtain coverage. Most of those would be those who earn too much to qualify for the current Medicaid program but are too poor to qualify for health insurance subsidies offered under the Affordable Care Act.
A few questions for those Medicaid expansion proponents:
- The federal government continues to run massive deficits, needing to borrow more than 1 in every 4 dollars it spends. Where do you propose the money will come from to pay for the Medicaid expansion?
- Given the near-constant and continuing "budget crises" coming from D.C. in the form of "shutdowns", debt ceiling deadlines, and an inability to pass an actual budget for years, what assurances does NC have that the federal gov't will live up to its promises to help fund the Medicaid expansion?
- Moreover, the feds will only pay for Medicaid expansion for the first few years, then the state will have to assume a share of the costs, which will impose an additional burden of hundreds of millions of dollars per year on an already overly bloated state Medicaid system. Where to you propose the state will get the money to pay for this?
- How many of the alleged 377,000 North Carolinians you claim will be added to the Medicaid rolls under expansion will merely be switching from current private health insurance plans, shifting them to greater government dependency and helping to snare then in a poverty trap?
- Since 2001, NC's Medicaid program has added more than 600,000 enrollees, while at the same time the number of physicians accepting Medicaid patients has decreased; meaning Medicaid enrollees have woefully inadequate access to care. Who would these new Medicaid enrollees see when they get sick?
Of course, those advocating for Medicaid expansion have no answers to these questions. Fact is, they simply don't care. Their only concern is increasing political power by keeping a segment of the population poor and dependent upon the government, thus expanding their voting bloc.