State Budgets

Medicaid Expansion Consuming State Budgets: Jonathan Williams on the Tim Jones & Chris Arps Show

The Affordable Care Act is the opposite of what its title suggests.

Jonathan Williams, ALEC Chief Economist and Executive VP of Policy, joined The Tim Jones and Chris Arps Show on NewsTalk STL speaking on fiscal implications of Medicaid expansion on state budgets and the movement to give parents more control over their children’s education.

This is something that you all have lived with, over the objections of, I think, the clear-thinking legislators in Jeff City who wanted to resist this expansion of what is really Obamacare from the so-called Affordable Care Act. This Act, much like the Inflation Reduction Act, is the opposite of what its title suggests. It is consuming a greater percentage of state budgets in Missouri and other states. In reality, Medicaid provides inadequate healthcare with horrible reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals. Ultimately, it’s burdening our state budgets and sacrificing our state autonomy to the wagon of a failing federal government. When it comes to this massive debt, we know that it’s not going away in the future. Additionally, I think it’s just horrible policy, as evidenced by ten states across the country that have resisted the expansion of Obamacare.

Ten plus years after its passage and affirmation from the Supreme Court, let’s not forget that this applies to the subsidy of healthcare, this provision of free healthcare to able-bodied working-age adults, something that is divergent from the original human intentions, the good intentions perhaps when Medicaid was initiated by the Great Society projects of Lyndon Baines Johnson back in the 1960s, it expanded dramatically, but of course, this has put us in a much worse fiscal condition federally, with $34.5 trillion of debt.

So, if I were a state lawmaker, I would worry and consider the reality of the situation going forward. When the federal government reduces funding to the states, do you want to be that state legislator left holding the bag, where you either have to remove people from the Medicaid rolls or deal with a high expansion population? There will be a significant discussion around tax increases, and we know that is the wrong approach at the state level.

Listen to the full interview here.

In Depth: State Budgets

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