Krauthammer on Florida: Accepting ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion is an honorable option

Via Mediaite. Before you watch, take five minutes to read Avik Roy and Grace-Marie Turner on what the further bloating of Medicaid will do to Virginia if Bob McDonnell accepts expansion. They’ve got 12 reasons to just say no but the graph at the top is cause enough to question Krauthammer’s assessment. It’s “honorable” to expect services in return for your tax dollars (just ask Detroit property owners), but what if those services are unsustainable? More from NRO:

Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, has announced that his will become the eighth GOP-governed state to accept the Medicaid expansion written into the Affordable Care Act, rather than “having Floridians pay to fund this program in other states while denying health care to our citizens.” The expansion is often described as “voluntary,” but, as Scott’s remark suggests, no state can opt out of paying for it. The Supreme Court, sensing that Obamacare’s provision to expand Medicaid did violence to federalism, amended it to make it less coercive; but its rewritten version did not solve the problem. The “cooperative” arrangement between the states and the federal government still undermines the political accountability that federalism is supposed to serve. Federal lawmakers can take credit for treading gingerly by giving the states options while state lawmakers can say their hands are tied.

Governor Scott has nonetheless made the wrong choice: abetting a broke federal government in expanding a fraud-riddled, debt-fueled entitlement of questionable effectiveness. This decision is particularly painful given that Scott made his bones fighting Obamacare. Scott’s decision undercuts all those Republican governors who have opted not to bilk the taxpayers of other states. His claim that the expansion will be temporary, and rescinded if the feds renege on their funding promises, is hard to credit. Expanding Medicaid tends to be much easier than shrinking it, and even if the feds do not come through in full there will surely still be “free money” on the table in the future.

He’s fantastically unpopular in Florida and trails Smilin’ Charlie Crist by 14 points right now, if this PPP poll from last month is accurate, and can’t afford to be buried deeper under a “Rick Scott hates the poor” narrative. So he took the money. Honorable?

Oh, by the way: Florida’s Medicaid decision isn’t the worst ObamaCare-related news of the week. If you’re married and your spouse gets coverage through your employer, you might want to start planning now for contingencies. 2014 will be here before you know it.

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John Sexton 10:00 PM on June 02, 2023