Republican Governors and Obama Stalemate over Reform Law
The Republican Governors stated that their states’ budget will balloon once the new Medicaid will take effect. They want more control of their state budgets and the power to change coverage and payment policies.
President Obama has initially turned down the Republican Governors’ proposal but he might want to reconsider it if he wants to decrease the federal budget deficit. The health care reform law is a partnership between the federal and state that covers 60 million people. This number includes nursing home residents, low-income mothers and people with AIDS.
The Republican Governors want the federal government to give the states more leeway to decide how to spend their money. They want to include Medicaid into a private insurance and control the qualifications and payouts.
Democrats stated that the solution for decreasing the budget deficit is not through spending cuts of programs for low-income parents and children. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that states can save money by imposing copayments and tweaking the pharmacy benefits.
The governors also added that federal micromanagement would increase the costs. State leaders must first get the president’s approval before amendments can be made in the health law. Republicans said that Medicaid bureaucrats in Washington might make it impossible for change to happen.