The Hill reports that Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare met this past Wednesday to find common ground. At issue is what these states want when Medicaid is reformed under any Obamacare “repeal, replace or repair”.
West Virginia GOP Senator Shelley Moore Capito summarized the feelings of the senators from the expansion states when she was asked if she wanted to keep the extra Medicaid funding her state has received.
“Yeah absolutely,” she said
Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana said “We’re meeting, Republican senators who have states that expanded Medicaid, talking about what’s the right transition to get through this repeal and replace. So we’re coming together and looking at different options, something of a transition plan, to be determined in more detail.”
These GOP Senators will continue to meet and will be watching out for their states’ best interests.
Not invited to these meetings are Republican senators from states that did not expand Medicaid—like South Carolina.
Our state leadership has to make a decision. Is South Carolina satisfied with getting less future federal Medicaid dollars for our uninsured, low income citizens than West Virginia, Montana, Arkansas and others at the table in DC? That’s exactly what will happen if the states that expanded Medicaid make decisions for those that didn’t. Is it OK that South Carolina not be treated the same as the expansion states that will have healthier, more productive workers, rural hospitals not closing, and billions more to grow their economies?
If we’re satisfied with that scenario, then we should continue to just let the expansion states grab more of the finite Medicaid funding when the changes come. We should resign ourselves to getting screwed.
But if we don’t like this scenario of missing out of billions of federal dollars, then the state needs to act sooner than later to put us in a position to be in that GOP meeting room with our Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott representing our interests.
If and when Medicaid reform comes and the states receive a set amount of federal dollars to develop their own Medicaid programs, wouldn’t it be better for us to have more money than less to solve the healthcare needs of our low income, uninsured workers and boost our economy?