March 8, 2013
NC taxpayers kiss goodbye $10 billion, coverage for 500,000 residents
Let Tuesday, March 5, 2013 go down in foolish infamy as the day North Carolina’s new governor signed into law spiteful legislation that turns down a $10 billion investment by the federal government in North Carolina’s economy and medical coverage for up to half a million more North Carolina residents.
“The bill was passed by Republican state lawmakers waging a political vendetta against our President. Now the people of North Carolina will pay the price for it,” said progressive advocates Progress NC on their Facebook page. “This was money our economy needed. This was health insurance that would have saved lives.”
Most Republican governors who opposed Obamacare – including Jan Brewer in Arizona, Chris Christie in New Jersey, John Kasich in Ohio, and even Rick Scott in Florida – have signed off on Medicaid expansion in their states.
Rallying against the possibility that the Arizona legislature might do what our radical legislature just did in rejecting Medicaid expansion, Gov. Brewer pleaded that, “The human cost of this tragedy can’t be calculated.”
Gov. Scott, who lead the unsuccessful effort to have the Affordable Care Act ruled unconstitutional, explained his decision to support Medicaid expansion this way, “I want every Floridian to have access to high-quality health care they can afford.”
Too bad North Carolina’s governor doesn’t have the same courage to do the right thing for his constituents as Republican governors in other states. From a News & Observer editorial blasting McCrory for rejecting Medicaid expansion:
“McCrory missed an opportunity to demonstrate his political independence and, more importantly, to do the right thing. That’s what Christie did, and it’s what Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a vocal opponent of Obamacare, did in the name of helping residents of their states.
“The governor’s argument for rejecting the Medicaid expansion was that the state Department of Health and Human Services’ division that oversees Medicaid payments “is broken” and that it would be unwise to bring more people into the system until its administrative lapses are corrected. He also shares the skepticism of many Republicans in the legislature who think the federal government can’t afford to pay for more Medicaid coverage. They think the feds will renege on their offer to cover the expense of the first three years of expansion entirely and then cover 90 percent afterward.
“But these reasons ring hollow and serve more as political cover for the rejection than as a justification for it. The governor’s newly hired Medicaid director, Carol Steckel, says the administrative issues with DHHS can be fixed in a few months. And projections that the federal government won’t come through on its promised payments have no factual basis.
“So what’s the real reason? The usual one: If it comes from President Obama, we don’t want it, and we don’t much care what common sense has to do with it.” — News & Observer, 3/8/2013
North Carolinians who work hard for their money and pay their federal taxes just got a raw deal.
Not only has this move by Gov. McCrory and the Republican majority in our legislature cost North Carolina billions of dollars, that was money North Carolina taxpayers had already sent to the feds, money that now they will never get back!
Instead, thanks to this law, your share of Obamacare money will be sent to New Jersey, Ohio, and Arizona. But wait, there’s more!
All the people who would have gained health insurance through Medicaid expansion – coverage that could have allowed people to visit a doctor or urgent care when they get sick or injured – now the emergency room, the most expensive provider of medical care, is where they will have to go.
And when these folks cannot afford to pay the bill for their emergency room visit, your community hospitals will have to pick up the tab – and pass that cost along to people who do have insurance.
It is a damn fool thing Governor McCrory has done in rejecting Medicaid expansion. Now make him own it.