The Case Against Medicaid Expansion

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

Just a reminder, Medicaid is a program that was started in 1965 to provide healthcare to the very poorest of Americans. In the last session of the General Assembly, the Republican controlled N. C. Senate voted to expand Medicaid, which has been advocated by leftist Democrats as part of Obamacare, in spite of their being opposed to expansion for several years. Why the dramatic shift in position? We have not been
told. Let’s take a look at why expanding Medicaid is a very bad idea and needs to be stopped.

First, expansion will greatly increase the number of people on this socialist program by an estimated 600,000 and possibly one million people in North Carolina.. The program is already failing with high costs, poor access to care and adding more people will make the situation worse.

Second, several states have tried this with dismal results. Louisiana, for example, expanded their Medicaid program in 2015. The number of people accessing the program is 65% higher than the original estimate and costs have ballooned from $1.4
billion to $3.1 billion. If all the states expand Medicaid, The Federalist estimates it will require a $1 trillion tax hike and a $700 billion in cuts to Medicare.

Third, a recent Civitas poll showed that 65% of respondents opposed Medicaid expansion when they learned that the “…expanded population was primarily healthy, working age adults with no children”. It is estimated that 60% will drop private healthcare coverage they already have. The working poor can already find inexpensive private healthcare coverage on the federal exchange.

Fourth, even though federal tax money will pay for about 90% of the initial cost, the state is liable for future costs and do not forget that it is still more money taken from the average tax payer. The existing Medicaid program already takes about 25% of most state budgets.

Fifth, expanding Medicaid (up to 138% of federal poverty level) is a giant step towards socialized, government controlled medicine which has already proven to be a problem in other countries. Remember Obama’s lie “ if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. The more people on welfare, which is what this is, the less freedom of choice.

Sixth, All welfare programs encourage dependence on the government and reduce the incentive to work. We need fewer welfare programs not more.

Seventh, medical facilities, unable to survive on Medicaid reimbursement rates,
increase the cost of services to the owners of private insurance. Expect your premiums to go up as well as your taxes.

Eighth, the majority of individuals receiving Medicaid vote for Democrats in order to ensure continuation of the program. Expanding Medicaid will most likely turn North Carolina from a red to a blue state which is exactly what the Democrats are expecting.

There are other excellent reasons to oppose Medicaid expansion. Bottom line, this is an expansion of the Welfare State that no true conservative Republican should support. If you agree, contact your state legislators before it is too late. The slide to socialism must be stopped if we are to save America!