One of the Pyrrhic victories to come out of the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling was that the federal government could not withhold all of a state’s Medicaid monies if it refused to expand the program. Some Republican governors, like Rick Perry of Texas and Florida’s Rick Scott, have declared that they will not expand their state’s programs. Not surprisingly, this has lead the usual suspects to cluck and thunder that such refusals are tantamount to tossing indigent grandmothers to the wolves.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, though, is not yet among those who have spurned the feds’ wishes and cash. He’s filled with uncertainty, because the feds haven’t detailed how the larger program will work, who will pay for what and for how long. In his capacity as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, McDonnell posed a litany of questions to the Obama administration on these points.
But the heart of the matter is much simpler: How on earth can the feds hope to pay for the commitments they want the states to make? On that issue, McDonnell’s letter states:
We also do not understand how the federal government can begin to afford to implement PPACA, with deficits already over $1 trillion in every year of your presidency, and the debt growing $5 trillion in the past 3 years to an outrageous record of nearly $16 trillion.
The answer is it can’t be paid for. Not now, next year or in the mythical budget years to come because the federal government is broke.
[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]
Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.