- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Money fears vs. real benefits in Medicaid choice
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama thinks his health care law makes states an offer they can’t refuse.
Whether to expand Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor and disabled, could be the most important decision facing governors and legislatures this year. The repercussions go beyond their budgets, directly affecting the well-being of residents and the finances of critical hospitals.
Here’s the offer:
If states expand their Medicaid programs to cover millions of low-income people now left out, the federal government will pick up the full cost for the first three years and 90 percent over the long haul.
About 21 million uninsured people, most of them adults, eventually would gain health coverage if all the states agree.
Adding up the Medicaid costs under the law, less than $100 billion in state spending could trigger nearly $1 trillion in federal dollars over a decade, according to the nonpartisan Urban Institute.
“Although the federal government is on the hook for most of the cost, Medicaid on the whole is one of the biggest items in state budgets and the fastest growing. So there are some understandable concerns about the financial implications and how implementation would work,” McClellan said.
A major worry for states is that deficit-burdened Washington sooner or later will renege on the 90-percent deal. The regular Medicaid match rate averages closer to 50 percent. That would represent a significant cost shift to the states.
Many Republicans also are unwilling to keep expanding government programs, particularly one as complicated as Medicaid, which has a reputation for being inefficient and unwieldy.
Awaiting decisions are people such as Debra Walker of Houston, a part-time home health care provider. She had a good job with health insurance until she got laid off in 2007.
Walker was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and she’s trying to manage by getting discounted medications through a county program for low-income uninsured people.
Walker estimates she earned about $10,000 last year, which means she would qualify under the income cutoff for the Medicaid expansion. But that could happen only if Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, reconsiders his opposition.
“I think that would be awesome if the governor would allow that program to come into the state,” Walker said. “That would be a help for me, robbing Paul to pay Peter for my medicines.”
She seems determined to deal with her diabetes problem. “I don’t want to lose a limb later on in life,” said Walker, 58. “I want to beat this. I don’t want to carry this around forever.”
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- ICT trade mission to Azerbaijan successfully completed
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- EDITORIAL: The Potemkin website
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow