For the third year in a row, the Republican-controlled Virginia legislature has rejected Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe’s proposal to expand Medicaid. Neither will the legislature agree to used ‘estimated’ future budget savings to pay for various goodies that Gov. McAuliffe wants Virginia to pay for. In general, why, it’s as if the Virginia legislature was run by a state party that, every so often, remembered that the purpose of government is not to write out endless blank checks! …Nah, that’s crazy talk.
Look, we’ve already had the Medicaid wars. Suffice it to say that while I’m sympathetic to the fact that hospitals are dealing with the problem that the difference between government Medicaid largess and actual costs gets wider every year, I would still remind the hospitals which side they picked in the Obamacare wars, and what tactics they did and do use to fight those wars. Besides, putting more poor people on Medicaid is wrong; it’s largely a method by which rich people assuage their guilt by creating nigh-useless health care for poor ones, and then promptly forgetting about those people because, hey, they’re on Medicaid and everything’s great now, right?
No. No, in fact, it is not.
PS: In some ways the refusal to fund future programs on future proposed savings and revenues is even more significant. It’s lovely to create programs, but: don’t spend money that you don’t actually have. Tax hikes in particular never generate as much revenue as projected: those projections typically take into account both that people don’t like to pay taxes, and that everybody’s IQ goes up by thirty points whenever the topic is How do I keep people from taking more of my money? Seriously: if legislators ever break down and simply admit this, about a third of my workload would go away.
PPS: Legislative elections have consequences, too.