- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rep. Elijah Cummings wants to know why some Republican governors have expanded Medicaid while others remain adamantly opposed to the key pillar of Obamacare.

So the Maryland Democrat and ranking member of the House oversight committee wrote Tuesday to six GOP state executives — three who expanded the government health program for the poor and three who have not — in a bid to understand their reasoning.

“Rather than relying on rhetoric, Cummings requested that the six governors submit state-specific analyses they relied on to inform their decision,” committee Democrats said in a press release.

The analyses should include federal funding the governors would receive or give up, projected costs of covering uncompensated care for uninsured residents, the number of jobs gained or lost from the Medicaid decision and the number of state residents who would receive or forgo medical care, the Democrats said.

Mr. Cummings wrote to Jan Brewer of Arizona, Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio in the pro-expansion group, and to Rick Perry of Texas, Rick Scott of Florida and Pat McCrory in the opposition camp.

The Supreme Court in 2012 said states could ignore Obamacare’s call to expand their Medicaid programs to those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level without risking existing federal funds for their programs.

Under Obamacare, the federal government is slated to pay for 100 percent of a state’s expanded Medicaid population in 2014-2016 before scaling down its contribution to 90 percent in 2020 and beyond.

Twenty-six states and the District have opted to expand, and at least three more states are actively debating the provision, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

“Democratic governors have consistently supported expanding Medicaid, but Republican governors have disagreed among themselves, with widely differing explanations,” committee Democrats said in their explanation of Mr. Cummings‘ letters.