“At issue is a provision in the health-overhaul law enacted in 2010 that says states can’t limit Medicaid eligibility or else they’ll lose federal funding.
As a result, every one of the country’s 29 Republican governors has asked the federal government to waive the requirement, with New Jersey penciling a waiver into its budget. Some states with Democratic governors, including Washington, are also quietly pressing for the change.”
“Choosing the right course of action is simple for governors who believe ObamaCare is unconstitutional. Every governor takes an oath to support the U.S. Constitution. Implementing a law they believe to be unconstitutional would violate that oath.
At a minimum, then, governors who believe ObamaCare is unconstitutional have a solemn obligation not to implement it. Parnell wisely sought counsel from his attorney general about whether implementing ObamaCare would violate his oath of office. But if Parnell personally believes the law is unconstitutional, then that should tell him what he needs to know.”
“The United States became the most powerful and prosperous nation in the history of the world not through central planning and bureaucracy but because our Founders chose a different course: freedom, limited government, state and local leadership, and private-sector innovation. That formula will work in health care, and absent the repeal or overturning of last year’s law, it starts with the delegation of powers to states.”
“Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said he won’t implement the federal health-care overhaul after a judge in Florida struck down the law as unconstitutional… Mr. Parnell, who sought the advice of his attorney general amid concerns implementing the law would violate his oath of office, told the Juneau Chamber of Commerce the state would pursue lawful, market-based solutions to making insurance affordable and accessible to Alaskans.”
“To consider what the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare might do to the states, take a look at Massachusetts and Tennessee. In 2006, Massachusetts overhauled its entire health-care system, including a significant expansion of Medicaid. This expansion is costing the state far more than expected. Gov. Deval Patrick approved a record-setting $9.6 billion to cover its share of Medicaid costs last July. It wasn’t enough. He’s already gone back to the legislature twice, adding almost $600 million in additional funds.”
“This month, Jan Brewer of Arizona became the first governor to request what most of the states really need — a waiver from HHS freeing the states from an Obamacare provision known as the maintenance of effort requirements. This is a mandate that forces states to maintain their current Medicaid rolls until 2014 for adults and 2019 for children. If the states trim programs, they end up forfeiting all of Medicaid’s federal matching funds.”
“Back in a November 2009, Utah governor Gary Herbert complained in remarks at the Heritage Foundation that the federal government was ‘freezing out the states’ on health-care reform. How have things gone since then? According to the governor’s remarks (as reported by Jane Norman of CQ HealthBeat) when he returned to the Heritage Foundation last week, ‘Utah officials waited for eight months to find out if the state would be allowed to us e-mail rather than paper to communicate with Medicaid recipients and save $6 million a year.’ Herbert concluded — with bemusement – that ‘they sent us a denial by e-mail.'”
“So, even though states can’t afford their current Medicaid obligations, ObamaCare forced an extension of existing eligibility standards until 2014. Arizona is especially affected because it has some of the most generous Medicaid eligibility standards in the country. Rather than allow states like Arizona to cut back to the level of other states, ObamaCare freezes in existing disparities. Beginning in June 2011, Arizona’s share of its Medicaid program will increase by $700 million. The annual cost of this mandate is almost $1 billion.”
“A generation ago, New York governor Mario Cuomo was an Italian-American facsimile of Barack Obama: an unapologetic, eloquent spokesman for modern liberalism. Many on the Left regret to this day that he didn’t run for President in 1992, leaving the field instead to a centrist named Bill Clinton.
Last month, Mario’s son, Andrew, was installed into the Governor’s Mansion in Albany. And Andrew is getting some pretty lavish praise from…National Review and the Wall Street Journal?”
“Most fundamentally, the system we are proposing requires Washington to abandon most of the command-and-control aspects of the law as written. It steers away from nanny-state paternalism by assuming, recognizing and reinforcing the dignity of all our citizens and their right to make health care’s highly personal decisions for themselves.”