Backgrounder posted May 3, 2010
Facing Obamacare: What the States Should Do Now
The sweeping health care bill pushed by congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama has been signed into law. The enormous expansion of federal power that will result from “Obamacare” will have far-reaching effects on the traditional roles and authority of states—and on the freedoms of American citizens. When governors and state legislators…
WebMemo posted January 5, 2010
Medicaid Expansion Ignores States’ Fiscal Crises
Given Senator Ben Nelson’s (D–NE) sweetheart deal to force federal taxpayers to pick up the cost of mandatory Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, Members of Congress are obviously unfazed about the future costs of their handiwork and the turmoil it will cause among the other states.
Under the giant House and Senate health bills, Congress is counting on enrolling 15–20…
WebMemo posted December 1, 2009
Medicaid Meltdown: Dropping Medicaid Could Save States $1 Trillion
Congress is about to set off a chain reaction that it has not planned for and will not be able to contain.
The health care legislation currently in Congress not only imposes new costs on states through expansion of the Medicaid program; it also preempts state authority in management of the program. Faced with becoming merely an agent of the federal government,…
WebMemo posted November 4, 2009
Federalization of Medicaid: Health Reform Bill Would Reduce State Authority
Medicaid is designed to be a partnership between the states and the federal government. In the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and again in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, states won additional flexibility to run Medicaid and its companion program, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
But under H.R. 3962, the health bill introduced last week by…
WebMemo posted October 30, 2009
Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Setting the Record Straight
There is apparently confusion regarding how the federal government enforces the Hyde Amendment prohibition on federal funding of abortion. Such confusion could result in failure to enact appropriate safeguards against government funding of abortions in the overall health care legislation currently under consideration.
States Cannot Make Up Their Own Rules
WebMemo posted October 21, 2009
Why Congress Wants to Force More Americans into Medicaid
One particularly disturbing feature has emerged from the
closed-door negotiations on health care legislation: a massive
expansion of Medicaid, the nation's largest welfare program.
It is now clear that roughly half of the projected reduction in
the uninsured will be due to putting more than 14 million
individuals into Medicaid. Congressional liberals' passion…
WebMemo posted October 21, 2009
Health Care Bills' Medicaid Expansion: How States Can Lose theBattle Behind Closed Doors
Congressional leaders are finalizing the details of the massive
health care legislation behind closed doors. Its fate may well
depend on state officials willingness to accept the future cost of
a massive expansion of the Medicaid program.
Congress and the Obama Administration are relying on Medicaid to
cover at least half of those who would become insured.…
WebMemo posted October 15, 2009
The Baucus Medicaid Provisions: The Senate's Massive WelfareExpansion
One issue in the Baucus health care bill has not received the
attention it deserves: Half of the reduction in the uninsured will
result from the enrollment of millions of Americans in
Expanding Medicaid is not reform. Americans across the political
spectrum who are being promised health reform will, if Congress
gets its way, be stunned to find…
WebMemo posted October 7, 2009
Congress Breaks Obama Promise on Government Role in Health Care
One of the reasons Americans are understandably wary of the
current health care legislation moving through Congress is that the
specifics of legislation do not match the rhetoric of the
President. To defuse public suspicions, researchers at the Urban
Institute recently published a study trying to persuade ordinary
Americans that "[c]urrent national health reform…
WebMemo posted September 25, 2009
The Baucus Health Bill: A Medicare Physician Payment Shell Game
My colleagues, this is our opportunity to make history. Our
actions here, this week, will determine whether we are courageous
enough and skillful enough to change things for the better.
Baucus, addressing the Senate Finance Committee on September 22,
For all of the bold talk of reform, the provisions of the Senate
Finance Committee bill…
WebMemo posted August 7, 2009
Health Care Reform in West Virginia: A Lesson from the States
A big casualty of the congressional health care reform legislation would be the loss of state flexibility in the financing and delivery of affordable health care options for their citizens.
Under the House bill, the federal government would regulate private insurance for the first time and dramatically increase its control over the Medicaid program. Flexibility will be…
WebMemo posted July 24, 2009
New Taxpayer Subsidies: The Impact of the House and Senate Health Bills
Under the House and Senate bills, taxpayers are going to pay
more for health insurance.
Health insurance is supposed to provide individuals access to
quality health care and ensure protection against financial
calamity due to a catastrophic illness or injury. But as the cost
of insurance rises as a percentage of a family's budget, so does
the rate of uninsurance.…