The Washington Times - December 3, 2013, 08:23AM

Rep. Tim Huelskamp said Tuesday that he doesn’t expect the GOP to try to push for another government shutdown to gut funding for Obamacare in the next round of spending battles.

Mr. Huelskamp, Kansas Republican, said on C-Span’s Washington Journal that he hopes the GOP will focus its attention on wiping away the roughly $20 billion in additional Medicaid funding that is included in the law.


SEE RELATED: White House takes Medicaid-expansion push to South Carolina


“We will go after some of that enhanced Medicaid funding in Obamacare,” he said.

The Washington Times has reported  that under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pay for 100 percent of the newly eligible Medicaid population in 2014-2016 before scaling back its contribution to 90 percent in 2020 and beyond.

The Supreme Court, though, said the Obama administration could not force states to expand the program by withdrawing existing Medicaid funds, effectively making it optional.

The Times reported that many conservative leaders say the expansion is a bad deal for the states because it will inflate state-level costs in the future and Washington may renege on its promises. Some of them also feel Medicaid is a “broken” program that shouldn’t take on a throng of additional enrollees

As a result, several GOP-led state have rejected the additional funds, including Mr. Huelskamp’s home state of Kansas.

The launch of the Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, has been viewed as failure, and The White House has been on damage control in recent days, assuring the public that the system is being repaired and that things should go much smoother moving forward.

Mr. Huelskamp, though, said the problems extend beyond the HealthCare.gov website.

“The website will eventually get up and running,” Mr. Huelskamp said. “But at the end of the day you are going to lose access to your doctor, lose access to, obviously, the health care plan you like and those kind of problems are going to continue no matter what happens on the budget discussion.”

“To me, it is not a failed website,” he said. “It is a failed health care approach. Can Washington run our nation’s health care system? Can they improve it? Certainly not.”