Southern Governors Do Not Want Medicaid
Texas Governor Rick Perry and Florida Governor Rick Scott both said they would not expand Medicaid coverage to more working poor, rejecting the central part of the healthcare reform law designed to give coverage to approximately 15 million additional Americans.
The two governors are able to do that because last month the Supreme Court ruled that states are allowed to opt out of expanding without worrying about a penalty. The decision by the governors could affect millions between both states. In Florida and Texas, 20% or about 3 million of the people live, who would potentially benefit from the expansion.
South Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi Governors also have told Washington they can keep the money for Medicaid and the new expanded requirements that accompany it.
On Monday, Perry said that Medicaid was a failed program and to expand it would be similar to adding thousands of passengers to the Titanic. An advisor for Perry, Dave Carney from New Hampshire, said it was smart for governors to speak out against the President on the Medicaid issue because it coincides with the Republican message of reducing the government.
Not all GOP governors agree and have taken a measured approach. In eight other states, the expansion of Medicaid is still up in the air with governors who are GOP, leaning towards saying no. Among those who are still deciding are Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Nathan Deal of Georgia and Bob McDonnell of Virginia.
Once November arrives, all 50 governors will know better what the right call politically was however for now Scott, Perry, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley and Mississippi’s Phil Bryant are on their own.