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Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and other ObamaCare expansion advocates never discuss how fiscally irresponsible it is for states to take more money from taxpayers to pay for Medicaid expansion when the program already costs $13 billion annually.
In the debate with Thom Tillis for the U.S. Senate on Oct. 7, Sen. Kay Hagan repeated a talking point of the left that 500,000 North Carolinians are going without health care because the state didn’t expand Medicaid.
This doomsday scenario lacks teeth when you consider the state’s Medicaid program is now in the black for the first time in five years because of tighter fiscal control of dollars. By choosing not to expand, North Carolina has kept from going into further debt.
The argument for Medicaid expansion goes something like this (from ObamaCare Report by WalletHub from late 2013):
Taxpayers in Expansion States Receive a Significant Return on Investment: Taxpayers across the country are on the hook for Medicaid expansion costs, regardless of whether their state government decides to opt in or out given that federal income taxes are used to pay for the program. The only difference is whether or not taxpayers in a given state receive anything in return. For example…Mississippi taxpayers are giving up $8.03 in federal funding for every dollar they are currently set to pay for Medicaid expansion in other states.
WalletHub ranked North Carolina 48 out of 51 states (including the District of Columbia) for rejecting federal funding for expansion because, according to them, North Carolina will lose $3.89 per $1 of taxpayer expenditure.
However, Nicholas Horton, Policy Impact Specialist with the Foundation for Government Accountability, in a written statement rebuts WalletHub’s rhetoric that Medicaid expansion helps relieve taxpayer burden in states that implement it.
The idea that fiscally-responsible states are sending money elsewhere by rejecting ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion is simply untrue. In reality, by rejecting ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, states are having a real impact on controlling the ever-exploding national debt, because there is no dedicated funding stream for the expansion. Instead, every penny of expansion spending is financed on the backs of future generations through debt. The CBO has estimated that expanding Medicaid in every state would cost nearly a trillion dollars — and that’s just in the first 10 years. North Carolina’s share of that, if they chose to expand, would be nearly $40 billion, all on the backs of our kids and grandkids. It’s simply unsustainable.
States that reject expansion aren’t sending money to other states because that money doesn’t currently exist in the treasury. It’s not as if there’s a giant pot of money in Washington that’s being doled out for this and President Obama will say to California, ‘Well, North Carolina didn’t expand, so we’re going to send you a few billion extra.’ California will get the same amount of money they would have, based on the number of people they enroll. That money will come from more borrowing, not from North Carolina, and North Carolina lawmakers will be able to proudly say that they stopped the full wrath of ObamaCare from coming to their state and protected future generations and the truly needy in the process.
Sen. Hagan appears willing to ignore the reality of the consequences of Medicaid expansion in North Carolina.
Image from screenshot from video of debate.
Tags: Foundation for Government Accountability, Medicaid expansion, North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan
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