On January 7, 33 Republican governors and governors-elect sent a letter to the White House with a clear message: repeal Obamacare’s Medicaid provisions.
One of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act will expand Medicaid eligibility by 2014 and requires states to maintain eligibility or lose federal funding–which accounts for at least half of every state’s Medicaid budget. In order for states to comply with the required Medicaid expansion, they must consider raising taxes or significantly cutting other programs, most notably education.
Governor Rick Perry of Texas wrote, “The one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare adopted last year does not work in the states and imposes unnecessary financial burdens on already strapped state budgets. Now is the time for the federal government to restore states’ flexibility to craft Medicaid programs tailored to their specific needs.”
Every state’s population is unique, and each needs the flexibility to run its own programs in order to serve the needs of its citizens. The federal government’s continued over-involvement in Medicaid is another example, as Gov. Perry points out, of a one-size-fits-all approach that does nothing to help the very people the program is intended to help.
While Kentucky was absent from the states represented in this letter, the commonwealth is experiencing the same impending challenges to this state program already in crisis.