EDITORIAL: Morrisey's Warning on Medicaid Expansion Rings True

HNN Staff
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has raised his dissent with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's decision to take the Obama Administration's offer and to expand Medicaid coverage across the state.

The Medicaid expansion would cover an additional 91,500 West Virginians.  But Morrisey notes that, in an age of $16 trillion in federal debt, the Obama Administration's promise to pick up most of the tab for these newly-covered, low-income West Virginians is a hollow one.

In a recent story in the West Virginia Record, Morrisey brought supporters of the Medicaid expansion back down to earth:

"While paying for the state's portion of this expansion will be daunting enough today, does anyone really believe that the federal government will maintain its same level of Medicaid funding in the future when it is staring at a $16 trillion debt and desperately needs to reduce spending?" Morrisey asked. 

Morrisey also predicted a "bumpy ride" for West Virginians after October 1 of this year.

"The federal government has done a very poor job preparing for open-enrollment and transitioning to new data systems," said Morrisey.

Morrisey's concerns ring true to anyone who has been disappointed with federal programs and their implementation.  Great promises are made, with states oftentimes having to pick up the bill themselves.

This Medicare expansion is part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.  But even original staunch Democratic supporters of Obamacare, including West Virginia's senior U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, have gone public with their concerns about Obamacare's implementation.   

Rockefeller's fellow outgoing Democratic U.S. Senator, Max Baucus of Montana, has gone as far as to call Obamacare's implementation a "huge train wreck."

For his part, Morrisey notes that Governor Tomblin, like all of his 49 peers nationwide, has been placed in a tough spot by the federal government.  Obamacare has penalty provisions for those states who choose to not play ball.

However, the Attorney General's warning that "nothing in life is ever free" rings true.

How long will it take this time for West Virginians to find out that they're holding the bag for empty promises from Washington?




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