- Arkansas voter ID law struck down by state judge
- FDA proposes ban on e-cigarette sales to minors
- Bad omen? Italian man crushed to death by John Paul II crucifix
- Company stopped from accepting abortion waste
- Girl surprises Michelle Obama with unemployed dad’s resume
- ‘Harry Potter’ religion class seeks to enlighten students on ‘God, sin, and theodicy’
- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
BRYANT: The truth about Obamacare in Mississippi
Taxpayers need jobs, not costly handouts
When the Supreme Court ruled on the Obama administration’s health care reform law a few months ago, the court upheld the right of the states to decline Medicaid expansion.
States throughout the nation are now looking at the enormous and growing percentage of their budgets already consumed by Medicaid expenses, and many simply cannot fathom shouldering the additional burden of even more Medicaid spending. Mississippi is certainly among those states opposed to expanding the program.
Beyond differences in philosophies on the role of government, beyond Obamacare’s superficial approach to righting the issues in America’s health care system and beyond this law’s inability to put Americans to work in jobs with decent wages and health care benefits, one fact is certain: Government programs come with a price.
People tend to forget that government has no dollar that it has not gained through taxation or borrowing. Even the Obama administration cannot pay for its massive health care law without raiding funding from other programs and levying taxes against the American people. After all, the bills for these expansions will come due, and the money has to come from somewhere.
Mississippi, too, must decide where it would get the money to pay for more and more Medicaid. Do we drain money from public safety and education? Do we tax money out of private revenues and family checking accounts? As governor, I say we reject the expansion and find a better solution.
During fiscal 2012, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid — just one of several state agencies responsible for paying Medicaid costs — required $3.62 billion in federal funds and $763 million in state funds to directly administer the Medicaid program, with a conservative total operating cost of more than $4.38 billion as of the Supreme Court ruling. This is without assuming the bill for Medicaid expansion that the Obama administration is attempting to lull taxpayers into accepting.
In fiscal 2012, Mississippi spent more than seven times as much money on the existing Medicaid program as we did on economic development and most of our state public safety efforts combined.
Furthermore, Medicaid spending is requiring an ever-increasing portion of resources while spending gaps in education continue to grow.
As governor, I cannot imagine directing money away from our children’s education, our ability to keep our citizens safe and our ability to provide for ourselves through job creation in favor of funneling more money into a program that addresses none of these other critical needs.
Building a budget from the dollars entrusted to Mississippi by its taxpayers requires choices, and a Medicaid expansion clearly does not present good options for our state.
According to a Milliman report requested by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, an estimated 400,000 people could be added to the Mississippi Medicaid rolls if we accepted the Obamacare expansion. Such an expansion could result in 1 in 3 Mississippians being on Medicaid and would balloon the state’s associated cost burden.
Our budget then would show additional costs of more than $1.6 billion over seven years, including an estimated $427 million in 2020 alone. This is all on top of what we already spend on the current Medicaid program in our state.
I would personally rather see those 1 in 3 earn health care coverage through good-paying jobs in Mississippi’s energy sector or our cutting-edge, advanced manufacturing operations.
Nonetheless, such cost increases would obliterate Mississippi’s budget and force us into the position of choosing which other services to kill or maim in favor of funding Medicaid.
Tack on the additional $81 million that the state would have to pay in the first three years of the expansion just to cover the increased administrative costs, and the situation becomes even more grim.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Only IRS employees could expect rewards for failing to pay their taxes
Get Breaking Alerts
- Holder cancels appearance in OKC amid angry protests
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- Gun control supporters send message to NRA
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Nevada rancher's racial remarks cost him range of support
Recent Letters to the Editor
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Don't punish unborn for parents' sins
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Fraud minimal in house-call health care
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Palestinian Authority on 'jihad-care'?
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Recalling foresight of Reagan, Thatcher on SDI
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A double standard on pejoratives?