In the fight to stop Medicaid expansion, the OLC told lawmakers that Ohio cannot count on the federal government’s promise to fully fund Medicaid expansion for three years.  Governor Kasich and the legislators responsible for the Controlling Board decision to expand Medicaid ignored this wise advice at the state’s peril.  It is easy to ignore reasonable warnings when someone else’s money is on the line.

Turns out U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan agrees with the OLC’s assessment.  In its article, “Republicans Push Plan to Renege on Medicaid Promise,” The National Journal reports Rep. Ryan made the following statement while on a conference call with Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Ken Cuccinelli in October.  Ryan spoke in relation to Terry McCauliffe’s promise to expand Medicaid should he win the Virginia governorship.

“The notion that the federal government is going to keep matching Medicaid spending at this level is a notion that is just a faulty premise. It’s going to get cut.”

The National Journal reports U.S. House Republicans have started to talk about reducing federal funding for Medicaid expansion.  Rep. Tom Price who serves on the House Budget Committee with Ryan has started to push a proposal that would cut federal funding from 100% for the first three years of Medicaid expansion to 90%.

Rep. Price explained his position to the National Journal Daily as follows,

“Many states didn’t expand.  So all citizens are subsidizing the states that expanded. So the fair thing to do, from my perspective and many individuals’ perspective, is to have the same, at least the same … 10 percent match by the states.”

Evidently, Rep. Price does not agree with Governor Kasich’s position that expanding Medicaid means returning Ohio tax dollars to Ohioans.

imagesThere’s another quote in the National Journal article that would be enlightening for Governor Kasich to hear.  Rep. Price told the Journal,

“We’re $17 trillion in debt.  At some point you’ve got to get fiscally responsible.”

The National Journal makes clear that Medicaid expansion funding reduction is not under official consideration in the House Budget Committee.

Even so, the fact that members of the U.S. House have started talking about reducing Medicaid expansion funding should cause concern in the states that have expanded.

Read the full National Journal article here.