Excerpted from the New York Times:
Because of the new health care law, Arizona lawmakers must now find a way to maintain insurance coverage for 350,000 children and adults that they slashed just last week to help close a $2.6 billion budget deficit.
Some states, like Arizona, face an immediate fiscal conundrum because of stipulations in the law that prohibit them from rolling back their existing Medicaid programs before the required expansion takes effect.
About a decade ago, voters in Arizona approved a measure to expand Medicaid to include childless adults whose incomes were at or below the federal poverty limit. As part of an effort to close a $2.6 billion budget gap next year, state officials recently decided to end that program, along with the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, signed the cuts into law last week.
Now, however, the state must come up with the money to restore the programs, estimated at a billion dollars annually.
“Any flexibility we used to have is gone with the new mandate,” said Tom Betlach, director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, which runs Medicaid.
I’ll bet it surprises no one who regularly reads TC.com that I’m an Obamacare opponent. Neverthless, I recognize that my side lost the last two national elections, elections have consequences and ObamaCare is one of those consequences. Democrats won, so they get to legislate.
But Arizona had elections too. We elected a Republican legislature. And, because Janet Napolitano left office early (shades of Sarah Palin!), AZ now has a Republican governor.
Republicans won statewide, so they should get to legislate, too. Right? Isn’t that what federalism and the 10th Amendment is all about?
Obama Care supporters, I invite you to post your answers to these two questions:
1) How should Arizona pay for the costs the NY Times lays out above? How should we balance our budget?
2) Why should the federal government be able to override the stated wishes of the Arizona electorate, as expressed through their elected representatives?
A few rules of the road:
1) This isn’t an invitation to come here and bash Republicans or Democrats in general. I plan to police the comments and delete aggressively.
2) tiponeil, you’re still banned.