Congressional Republicans are now debating how to deal with Medicaid going forward. South Carolina will likely be the loser unless we take steps now to receive higher levels of federal Medicaid dollars like the other red states that have expanded Medicaid.
Sure we can cross our fingers and hope that the final decision will be “equitable” for the 19 states like South Carolina that have not expanded Medicaid. But since when does our state not stand up and fight for itself. The health and economy of our state should not depend on the generosity of others.
We need to start the conversation now in order to take appropriate steps soon.
Below are excerpts from a story in The Hill on this matter.
February 1, 2017
GOP talk shifts from replacing ObamaCare to repairing it
. . .There is a split within Republicans over what to do about ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, which provided coverage to about 11 million new low-income people. Lawmakers from the 31 states that accepted the expansion are more likely to want to protect the expansion and the federal money for their states that came with it. . . .
The Senate is taking a much slower pace than the House when it comes to ObamaCare — partly because of questions over how to handle the Medicaid expansion.
Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), whose state accepted the expansion, said that he wants to keep it while providing more flexibility to states to make changes to the rules of the program, a common Republican goal.
“I think we should keep the Medicaid expansion, but we have to modify it to give the states more control so that they can manage it in a way that works in their state,” Hoeven said.
Even in the House, Walden acknowledged that some sort of compromise would have to be worked out around Medicaid expansion before Republicans would have enough votes to pass a repeal bill.
“It’s an issue in our conference because we have members whose states took it and members whose states didn’t; we want to be equitable about this,” Walden said. “We’re cognizant of this issue and fundamentally, if we don’t find the right sweet spot, we aren’t going to be able to pass it. I know how to count.” . . .