In 2010, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said to find out what was in President Obama’s health care bill Congress would have to pass it. After nearly three years, it has become obvious why Congressional Democrats wanted to hide the facts from the public before the president’s health care bill became the law. You’ve probably read about the 21 new taxes the bill requires in an effort to impose an individual insurance mandate, and how the law cuts more than $700 billion out of Medicare to fund a new entitlement. But you may not know about the impact that President Obama’s health care law will have on the states.
The Affordable Care Act also required states to expand Medicaid to cover more individuals beginning in 2014, but fortunately the Supreme Court’s ruling made this expansion optional. Even though the federal government is supposed to pick up a significant percentage of states’ expansion cost, the Obama administration is already seeking to limit its support to states that don’t expand their programs as much as the law originally required. It sounds as though a bad deal has the potential to get worse – and our state can offer some clues as to what will happen for states that choose to expand their program.