Governor Brewer's Legacy of Debt to Future Generations: Medicaid Expansion Interview with Braham Resnik
Did you watch the Braham Resnik interview of Governor Jan Brewer in last Sunday's Square Off? Statements made by Governor Brewer reveal her to be completely out of touch with the Arizona voters and their families. It is as if she has listened to the talking points of highly paid lobbyists and advisors for so long that she is clueless and sheltered from facts. With a few questions, Braham Resnik revealed Governor Brewer's lack of information and faulty logic.
Here is the link to the interview: Brewer: Medicaid Tweaks to Win Tobin Support
Listen carefully at the 4:30 minute mark. Braham Resnik said, "By an odd coincidence, on the same day the Arizona Senate approved the Medicaid expansion, the United States House of Representatives voted, for the 37th time, to repeal ObamaCare. You need ObamaCare for the Medicaid expansion. If you had been in Congress, would you have voted to repeal ObamaCare?"
Brewer: "Well, not necessarily....oh, if I had been in Congress? Oh, I don't know. I probably would have...."
Did you catch that? Resnik's question and statement are amazing. He points to the reality of what accepting Obama's federal money really means. Brewer needs ObamaCare to succeed in order to get the money she wants! Obama needs as many states, including Arizona, to go along with him for ObamaCare to succeed!
Brewer stumbles for a moment, then spouts her well rehearsed "talking point." She states, "I'm a staunch opponent of ObamaCare programs from the start...."
Governor Brewer. You can't possibly be a staunch opponent of ObamaCare, because you NEED OBAMACARE in order to get the federal dollars you want! You have foolishly been "rolled." You are, by your actions, a SUPPORTER of ObamaCare. Your words crumble beneath your ACTIONS.
Point #2: Governor Brewer keeps repeating how the voters voted twice to expand Medicaid. NO THEY DIDN'T! When the voters passed Prop 204 in 2000, Arizona’s original Medicaid expansion was supposed to be paid for fully with tobacco money. The population was said to be about 40,000. The voters did not approve a massive expansion of the population that would receive taxpayer funded healthcare when they passed Prop 204. In fact, the estimated costs and number of people on the program turned out to be four times greater (400%) than the estimates! We currently have about 1.3 million Arizonans on Medicaid (aka, AHCCCS), at a federal and state annual cost of about $8,000 per person and about $1.3 Billion in costs to Arizona taxpayers. In the meantime the voters voiced their opposition to Obamacare when they passed Prop 106 in 2010.
Point #3: Governor Brewer keeps referring to the Medicaid expansion as a tiny amount. She puts up her hands so you can see how small. But consider this: If the Medicaid program in Arizona expands from 100% of the federal poverty level to 138%, this will add another 400,000 Arizonans to what will become a huge step toward socialized medicine. This is not "just a tiny amount," and it is exactly what Obama has wanted all along. You have again been rolled, Governor Brewer!
Point #4: It is immoral for a Governor and legislators to "take" federal dollars that do not belong to them, and make it sound like it's free money. It belongs to our children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren. These irresponsible representatives of "the people" are incurring debt today that will have to be repaid by others tomorrow, whether it's through taxes or through repayment of loans to China. The debt will be repaid by future generations who have no say whatsoever in the irresponsible actions of Jan "this is my legacy" Brewer and all the rest of the legislators who voted for it. May their names be forever documented in the history of Arizona.
For additional information on this issue, please see Christina Corieri: States can save taxpayers $609 Billion. Here are some relevant quotes:
"In addition to protecting the federal budget, states that decline to expand their Medicaid coverage will protect their own budgets as well. States such as Arizona that voluntarily expanded their Medicaid programs in the past have faced much higher costs than expected. In 2005 alone, the program originally was projected to cost Arizona $315 million, but the actual cost that year was over $1.3 billion.
"The year 2005 wasn't an anomaly. Arizona's cost projections for the last expansion, from 2001 until the expansion was frozen in 2011, were off by over 400% each year. It is likely that the expansion proposed under the Affordable Care Act will have similar results for states that choose to expand their Medicaid programs, which Arizona may or may not do in the future.
"It is highly unlikely that the federal government will keep its promise to pay for 90% of the cost of covering the health care of new enrollees. The Obama administration has already proposed cutting the funding available to states, including in its proposed budgets for 2011 and 2012.
"States would be wise to remember that those who rely on assurances of federal dollars are often chasing fool's gold. A recent example is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, where Congress promised federal funding to the tune of 40% of program costs after 1982 but today funds only 17%."