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February 10, 2011
Repealing the big cost-drivers of ObamaCare
"Liberals might be starting to panic" as support for ObamaCare "melts away," writes Jennifer Rubin for the Washington Post.
Democrat fence-sitters such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) are scrambling to find a way out of the individual mandate, which Manchin acknowledges is the "lynchpin."
As Rubin points out, however, Republicans are not about to vote to replace the mandate just to save the bill, leaving Senate Democrats two unpalatable choices: repeal or defend their bill.
Opening a new front this week, Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana sent a letter, signed by 21 Republican governors, to HHS Secretary Sebelius, requesting major revisions regarding the exchanges and Medicaid, opening with
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Gov. Daniels gets right to the point:
Not to be outdone by the opposition, HHS Secretary Sebelius has penned her own defense today of how the so-called Affordable Care Act "empowers the states."
In her piece Ms. Sebelius dismisses the effect of Medicaid expansion on the states:
The governors may disagree here with Secretary Sebelius. Daniels goes on to note in his op-ed that Indiana alone faces Medicaid cost increases of $2.6-3.0 billion over the next ten years.
ObamaCare increases the eligibility for Medicaid in all states to 138 percent of the poverty level. While some of the more liberal states are currently close to or above that level, many states outside of the Northeast are now at less than half that level, and would see large increases in enrollment and costs.
The Heritage Foundation, noting the severe budget pressures facing the states, cites studies finding that state administrative and benefit costs for Medicaid expansion would increase by $33 billion for the 2014-2020 period.
Heritage also notes estimates done by the states, including Texas at $27 billion for ten years and Florida at $5.2 billion for 2013-2019, among others.
Karl Rove's Wall Street Journal column this week focuses on repealing ObamaCare's "big-cost-drivers," such as the Medicaid expansion, through reconciliation, assuming the Republicans can pick up four more Senate seats in 2012.
Rove notes that "even Democratic governors in swing states are critical of ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion," and makes the case that budget reconciliation rules could enable a simple majority in the Senate to knock out the biggest spending items in the bill:
There is a will and there may be a way...