Senate President Robert Stivers said in an interview posted today with “Pure Politics” anchor Ryan Alessi that while he believes that while state law allows Gov. Steve Beshear to join Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, which will add 308,000 Kentuckians to the government-run health program, it was wrong not to include the legislature.
Stivers, R-Manchester, noted that way too many unanswered questions remain about the impact of adding 308,000 Kentuckians to the Medicaid rolls. Here are the questions he said Beshear needs to answer:
“What are the raw dollars that are going to be spent here?”
“What’s going to happen in three years?”
“What is it going to mean in three years when it not a pure federal contribution, which is still your tax dollars?”
“What’s going to be the phase-in period?”
“What type of match money (is Kentucky) going to have to have?”
“How many health-care providers are we short?”
“What is going to be the economic impact to our communities?”
“What’s going to be the health impact to our communities?”
“This is something … that’s gonna cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars at some point in time. Do we have that ability to do that?”
“The overall cost: I’ve heard as high as $2 billion of federal tax dollars being spent. Do we want to do that?”
While a legal battle is being waged in state courts by tea party activists over whether Beshear has the right to act in such a unilateral manner – especially when it involves the expenditure of tax dollars – Stivers said one thing is for sure: whether the program is funded by federal or state dollars, Kentucky taxpayers will foot the bill.