One excuse apologists offer for Gov. Beshear’s further adoption of Obamacare through Medicaid expansion is that states can abandon the bloated program in three years once the feds put the financial burden back on state governments.
Let’s get real, shall we?
Does anybody in their right minds even entertain the notion that professional politicians are going to pull the rug out from under more than 300,000 lower-income individuals who will soon be added to the Medicaid doles? If voicing the simple, commonsense notion to make even modest reforms to entitlement programs is considered political suicide, then removing entitlements from over 300,000 Kentuckians must be the political equivalent of detonating a nuclear bomb.
What’s worse, the type of bold leadership in line with free market principles that would be necessary to shrink Medicaid to reasonable levels is simply not present in Frankfort. No professional politician is going to remove 300,000 people from an entitlement program unless he or she is preparing for a permanent retirement for politics.
Even if we want to venture through fantasy land and pretend that Gov. Beshear or his successor would have the intestinal fortitude to make such a bold move, it’s unclear that it would even legally be permitted to do so. According to legal experts, Robert Alt and Dan Greenberg:
“[I]n fact, there is substantial reason to believe that when a state chooses Medicaid expansion, it is something like a decision to go down a one-way street” and that “legislators are mistaken to ignore the possibility that expansion cannot be abandoned as easily as it was entered.”