Kentucky Medicaid expansion beats back first legal challenge; Forward!
posted at 1:21 pm on September 4, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
On Monday, the Washington Post editors once again expressed their utter frustration with the spitefully obstructionist Republicans and red states still getting in the way of ObamaCare’s pending success, with one of their chief complaints aimed at the many states steadfastly refusing to expand their Medicaid programs:
It’s a sad fact that Mr. Snyder deserves congratulations for this accomplishment. You wouldn’t think state leaders would need convincing to accept mountains of federal cash to help people with meager incomes obtain health insurance. But many Republican leaders and activists have waged a disruptive and harmful campaign to complicate, delay and undermine the ACA, which starts phasing in when state insurance markets begin enrolling customers in a month.
… But the most disruptive activity has been at the state level. Twenty-one states have refused to expand their Medicaid programs, blowing a large hole in the ACA’s coverage strategy. The Urban Institute estimates that 5 million people won’t get coverage as a result.
… They are not entitled to obstruct and flout the laws of the United States. On the contrary, they have an obligation to cooperate in good faith with wholly legitimate laws duly passed and reviewed by all three branches of government.
Never mind that the Supreme Court upheld the states’ legal right to abstain from expanding their Medicaid programs, nor that the editorial is repeating the Democratic clarion call that falsely depicts the entire situation as an irrefutable moral choice between either ObamaCare or widespread and inescapable poverty/misery — instead of another of the Obama administration’s many tax-and-regulatory crushes directly impeding the economic growth that actually boosts incomes and shoots people into the middle class.
And heck, why would anyone “need convincing to accept mountains of federal cash” to help expand Medicaid? It’s free money, right? …No. They’re making it sound like the non-participating states are looking a gift horse in the mouth, when what they’re really doing is refusing to accept a Trojan horse full of long-term fiscal burdens. How is it somehow a given that states should expand what is clearly a broken, inefficient, and unduly costly system with at-best questionable benefits for low-income families and individuals?
Anyhow, in other Medicaid-expansion news, Kentucky just moved a little higher on the definitive “yes” list, after the first round of a legal challenge to the very executive-heavy way in which their Democratic Gov. Beshear decided to expand Medicaid and set up their exchanges:
In separate rulings, Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd upheld both decisions by Gov. Steve Beshear intended to expand access to health care to 640,000 uninsured Kentuckians under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The rulings swept aside the legal challenge by Nicholasville Tea Party activist David Adams and others who insisted that Beshear’s actions must be ratified by the legislature.
“The Kentucky Supreme Court has held that this legislative power may be delegated to the executive branch of government in these circumstances, so long as there are standards governing the exercise of discretion, and the legislature retains the authority to withdraw the delegation,” Shepherd wrote in the case upholding the expansion of Medicaid. …
But Adams said he will appeal both orders and ask that the case go to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
“Gov. Beshear had to lie in court and break state law in order to pretend to have authority specifically denied him by statute, case law and the constitution. He needed a judge to ignore these facts,” Adams said in a statement. “Now he needs four of seven who are elected in districts whose people understand and oppose Obamacare. I don’t think he can do it.”