Hal Scherz

Make no mistake about it- the Obama administration’s Medicaid expansion plan at the state level is not about providing healthcare insurance coverage to those who do not currently have it, and it certainly has nothing to do with compassion. It is about control and dependency. It is about expanding the rolls of Americans who rely on government subsidized healthcare. It is about moving forward with the Affordable Care Act which will ultimately touch every American but will be controlled from Washington DC.

The timing of this Medicaid expansion is curious. 33 Governors had decided not to set up the state run health insurance exchanges by the December 14 deadline. The exchanges are the requisite piece needed to move forward with Obamacare but the resistance at the state level creates a major snag. The Governors mostly agreed that their states could not afford to set up and maintain these new bureaucracies. They could not afford to devote more of their state budgets to healthcare.

These same governors who disagreed so emphatically with Obamacare, when presented with the promise of “free money” from the federal government to grow the number of patients on Medicaid, have little problem with this. The “hook” is that the federal government will fund 100% of the Medicaid expansion for 3 years, and then 90% thereafter, but these Governors have not learned from the lessons of the past when dealing with the federal government’s promises.

First Governors Jan Brewer (AZ), John Kasich (OH), Brian Sandoval (NV), Susana Martinez (NM) and Jack Dalrymple (ND) jumped aboard, followed by Rick Snyder (MI). The latest defector is Rick Scott (FL), who  launched his political career opposing Obamacare.  How times have changed.

The reason for this political about face is understandable. First, these governors see that some states are getting money and they don’t want to miss out on this “opportunity”. Unfortunately this is money that does not exist. We cannot afford this expansion of Medicaid. Simply printing more money to cover these new entitlements drives us further down the road to insolvency.

Hal Scherz

Dr. Hal Scherz is the Chief of Urology at Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Atlanta and Secretary of the Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation.