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|At taxpayer expense|
By now you've probably heard or read where Gov. Bobby Jindal said "no" to hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program.
The money is being dangled in the state's face courtesy of the Affordable Care Act, known affectionately in some corners as Obamacare.
To surmise, the expanded Medicaid program requires states to offer Medicaid coverage, or health insurance for the poor, to individuals who currently make too much money to qualify for it or can't buy health insurance coverage from a private insurer for one reason or another. That would include those who simply can't afford to buy private health insurance or their employers don't offer it or both.
Thanks to some strong-arming by many of the nation's governors when the Congress was crafting the Affordable Care Act, states are not mandated to participate in the expanded Medicaid program. If they do, though, the federal government will cover literally all of the costs associated with it for the first couple of years of its existence. Thereafter, much of the costs would be covered by the feds through 2020. After that, states would be forced to pick up all of the expenses, though the Obama administration signaled that federal assistance might be available down the road for states that engage the expanded Medicaid program. That being beyond 2020.
Don't hold your breath.
In Louisiana, the Department of Health and Hospitals estimates that the expanded Medicaid program would cost the state some $3.7 billion over the first 10 years it's fully implemented, assuming the state embraced it. DHH also says some 187,000 individuals who currently have health insurance through their employers would enroll in the expanded Medicaid program.
After all, why pay for something when Uncle Sugar is offering to pick up the tab.
Though he's been cast as a pariah by leading Democrats for snubbing the new Medicaid money, Jindal wasn't alone in telling the federal government "thanks, but no thanks" to Obama's more than obvious attempt to force millions of people nationwide into a cycle of dependency. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Texas Gov. Rick Perry told the feds to stick it, too.
Why, you may ask, would Jindal turn up his nose at hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to extend health insurance coverage to the so-called poor?
It's quite simple if you recall that it's not uncommon for the federal government to create a new program, particularly one that's billed as the greatest thing since sliced bread, and eventually leave it to the states to pay for it. Another unfunded mandate, if you will.
That's one of the reasons Jindal took a pass.
He also took a pass because he rightfully recognized that Obama's true intentions with the Affordable Care Act extend far beyond making health insurance available to people who, heretofore, couldn't afford it or refused to buy it. That is, Obama is a typical Leftist (socialist) who harbors a silly notion that government knows all, that government should play a heavy hand in all aspects of the economy and people's lives personally.
There's a political angle to it all, too. A very obvious one.
Obama knows it. Democrats on Capitol Hill know it. Liberals in the media are in on it.
What they all know is as government expands its size and scope to provide a service to a larger segment of society, the more likely that segment of society will vote Democrat for years to come. By all means, why take responsibility for anything when Uncle Sugar is readily available to foot the bill?
And that, my friends, is what Obamacare, including the expanded Medicaid program, is all about.
It's politics. At the expense of taxpayers.
Plain and simple.