Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
The Medicaid expansion of President Obama’s healthcare reform act is going to increase state spending significantly. Individual states are required to balance their budgets. They currently have significant budget deficits. President Obama’s healthcare reform act will increase these budget deficits despite federal assurances of increased aid.
Neither the states or the federal government can afford to increase their budget deficits. President Obama has ignored this fear of increased deficit spending.
He is making a mistake. He is expanding Medicaid which is a defective system. Instead, his healthcare reform act should be changing the Medicaid system so it works.
The profits of the healthcare insurance industry will increase at the expense of state budgets and ultimately taxpayers. The healthcare insurance industry is expecting a forty billion dollar a year windfall profit from President Obama’s expansion of Medicaid.
We have already seen President Obama cave in to the interests of large corporations and unions. He has given waivers to McDonalds and others for their Mini Med insurance coverage. Minimal wage workers are ripped off by Mini-med insurance coverage for the benefit of the employer and the healthcare insurance industry.
The newly elected Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley is a feisty lady. She refuses to be marginalized as a Tea Party candidate by the traditional media.
Governor Haley was among a group of newly elected governors, most of them Republicans, who met with President Obama and Vice President Biden in early December 2010.
She asked President Obama to consider letting South Carolina opt out of this year’s federal health care overhaul.
She told President Obama that South Carolina could not afford the health care mandate. She told President Obama his healthcare reform act would cripple small businesses in her state.
“Would you at least consider South Carolina opting out of the program?"
She continued and pushed him further. She said his healthcare reform act challenges her duty to protect her state’s rights. She then asked him to consider repealing his healthcare reform act.
"I respectfully asked him to consider repealing the bill," she said, to which he clearly stated he would not.”
President Obama then told her he would consider letting South Carolina opt out of the healthcare reform act. He said if the state could find its own solution that included a state exchange, preventing companies from bumping people for preexisting conditions and allowing insurance pooling he would consider letting South Carolina opt out.
On the surface, President Obama’s request is reasonable. It fulfills his goal toward achieving universal coverage. It does not deal with affordability of care or quality of care. .
"I think it’s something we go back to South Carolina and start crunching," she said. "This is about saying we’re going to fight this every step of the way and use every option possible."
After the meeting, she was asked if President Obama was listening to her and was serious or was he humoring her.
"It was a level of communication where we felt like we were being heard," she said.
In early January, 33 Republican governors and governors-elect plan to send a letter to the White House and congressional leaders asking them to remove a part of the health-care overhaul law.
"The effect of the federal requirements is unconscionable," the governors wrote. "The federal requirements force governors to cut other critical state programs, such as education, in order to fund a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to Medicaid."
It could be that President Obama was humoring Governor Haley.
President Obama ought to start listening to the will of the people with the passage of a house resolution to repeal President Obama’s healthcare reform act, and additional states joining in Florida’s constitutional challenge of the law.