An excellent Wall Street Journal op-ed article this week titled “ObamaCare’s ‘Baby Elephant’”, points out many of the fallacies in Governor John Kasich’s argument for voluntarily expanding Medicaid in our state.
One example is the premise that we can expand Medicaid when the subsidies are high and then “sunset” our participation later when the subsidies may be reduced or disappear. This argument is folly because Washington evidently has the ability to impose “maintenance of effort” rules that can prohibit states from opting out later.
Another specious argument Kasich is using is based on the fact that sometimes the emergency room is used by individuals to access primary care services. If they can’t pay, as the argument goes, private healthcare payers later pick up the bill through cost shifting. The brilliant solution? Save money by having the entitlement funding stream that is bankrupting our country pay for it instead.
If someone orders a baloney sandwich and the restaurant brings him filet-mignon, that’s on the restaurant. Put a triage nurse out front of the ER and refer primary care patients to a clinic down the hall. If the hospital allows an $80 expense to become an $800 expense by inappropriately deploying its resources – why should our children and grandchildren foot the bill?
Another great guffaw in the governor’s Medicaid sales pitch is the “Valerie told me so” argument. Kasich brags how he had a late-night phone call with Valerie Jarrett. About this he said, “I want to thank Valerie Jarrett today for being willing to work with us. Now I want to be clear to you, we don’t know what the details of this are going to be yet. We don’t know what the cost is going to be.” I’m sure constituents will be thrilled to hear “conservative” John Kasich is now cozying up to President Obama’s top adviser. But he doesn’t know the details? He doesn’t know the cost? And yet, he is still recommending this?
Watching this comedy of errors unfold, one wonders what ever happened to “fiscal hawk” John Kasich? If such a person ever really existed, he has long since departed his post.