The governor’s plan to avoid expanding Obamacare is terminally flawed. It is unconscionable to refuse $75 million in annual federal benefits for the poor, for which we are currently being taxed, and offer instead a half-baked patchwork of admittedly inadequate state and county based programs, at a combined annual cost projected to be in excess of $100 million in state and county funds.
Even if the Republicans sweep the 2016 elections, no thinking politician expects the bottom end of the federal act to be abandoned outright. With expanded Medicaid in place in a majority of states, and with care for the poor being an obligation that even the tightest-fisted Republican acknowledges, this program should survive.
Money is money is money. Approving the Medicaid expansion now will solve the problem with Idaho’s working poor, eliminate the wretched consequences of inadequate health coverage, bring about potentially huge annual savings to the state and counties, avoid a punitive reallocation of state excise tax revenues, and permit the federal taxes we are currently paying for the Medicaid expansion and that are now being squandered elsewhere to be returned to Idaho.
Politics aside, what’s not to like with this result?
Duff McKee, Boise