Democratic Governors Weigh In...for Republicans
By Shailagh Murray
Republicans are firing back at the White House for lining up a slew Republicans from outside Congress to issue statements of support for health-care reform.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office circulated quotes from two Democratic governors underscoring a widespread, lingering concern about provisions in the bill that would vastly expand Medicaid. This federal-state program for low-income children, pregnant mothers and disabled people is already driving states to the fiscal brink.
Many governors -- Republican and Democrat alike, including those who support the overall reform effort -- are deeply concerned that Congress will add to the burden by opening Medicaid to millions of poor, uninsured adults. (One of those is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, the White House's big GOP "get" on Tuesday.)
The Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch reported that new Medicaid costs for Ohio could reach $922 million from 2014 to 2019, the first five years after reform takes effect. The paper noted that Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, generally has supported Congress's overhaul efforts and anticipates that closing the uninsured gap could help the state's economy in the long run, even if Medicaid spending rose. But Strickland has warned officials in Washington that "with our financial challenges right now, are not in a position to accept additional Medicaid responsibilities," the Dispatch reported.
And the Los Angeles Times quoted Colin Manning, a spokesman for New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, describing the governor's concerns about "potential cost shifting to the states" in the bill. Lynch is sufficiently alarmed, said Manning, that he declined to sign a letter to House and Senate leaders last week from 22 Democratic governors urging Congress to finish reform this year.
Web Politics Editor
October 7, 2009; 10:44 AM ET
Categories: Health Reform
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