Dalrymple’s Medicaid Flip-Flop Is Puzzling

Corral Creek Oil

Nina Owcharenko from the Heritage Foundation finds support for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion among Republican governors, such as North Dakota’s Jack Dalrymple, puzzling:

Governor John Kasich now joins the list of governors that are looking to expand their Medicaid programs. In some instances, the logic of such a decision makes sense. Democratic governors have traditionally supported expanding the role of Medicaid. But the decision by Republican governors, such as Governor Jan Brewer (Ariz.), Governor Jack Dalrymple (N.D.), Governor Susana Martinez (N.M.), Governor Brian Sandoval (R., Nev.), and now Governor John Kasich (R., Ohio), is puzzling.

Like most government programs, Medicaid promises more than it delivers. While it consumes an ever increasing portion of state budgets — crowding out other state priorities, such as education and transportation — its track record for delivering quality health care to those in need falls short. Endorsing the expansion ignores these underlying problems and in some instances seems to make them worse.

Of these five Republican governors, four joined the lawsuit against the Obama administration regarding the coercive nature of the Medicaid expansion. It is troubling that now that the Medicaid expansion has been deemed voluntary not mandatory by the Supreme Court, these governors are perfectly happy to have the federal government coerce them into the expansion with the enticement of new federal dollars.

Second, many of these governors argue that the Medicaid expansion is actually good fiscal policy. These governors may be looking at a short-term bump in new federal dollars, but the longer view shows that over time this new revenue disappears and the cost of expansion continues to rise.

Noting that Medicaid enrollment is expected to explode to 1 in 4 Americans by 2017, Owcharenko is wondering why any governor would be in a hurry to expand the program. “In states that are trying to jumpstart their economy, it seems governors should be working to reduce dependence on the welfare state, not add millions more to it,” she writes.

Indeed, Dalrymple was opposed to this Medicaid expansion until the legislative session at which point he slipped it into his executive budget suggesting the expansion would come at “no cost” to North Dakota taxpayers.

As if North Dakota taxpayers weren’t also federal tax payers. By the way, according to estimates, this expansion would increase Medicaid enrollment in North Dakota by 46%.

The federal government can’t afford these dollars and, what’s more, North Dakota ought not be obligating itself to an expanded program going forward. The Supreme Court made this Medicaid expansion optional. North Dakota and other states should opt out of a bad deal.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Captjohn

    I wish I had the answers but for these governors I don’t think there is a choice. What they hope for is the whole Obamacare scenario implodes. I would like to think that is a good bet as I don’t believe the feds will control costs and the price of private pay health insurance will escalate to the point no one or no company can afford it. After Obamacare is fully implemented and becomes socialized medicine there will be health care rationing as that is the only way to control cost. Of course they could take on the ABA trial lawyers and get attorneys out of the exam room and operating room to take out some of the cost. That won’t happen as the Democrats know where the political donations come from.
    As seniors and working class people find their options limited in health care will there be a revolt? That is the $64,000.00 question. If the whole Obamacare scenario is turned upside down after he leaves office which governors will have made the right decision?
    I think these governors have made a calculated decision that ony time will tell if it is correct.

  • splined

    We now spend annually nearly $60,000 per household in poverty. See http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/over-60000-welfare-spentper-household-poverty_657889.html Rush was right – Santa Claus won the last election. Government is the reason many people are just not available for work.

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

      Why work when everything is stole from others and given to you. There is no incentive to work.

  • VocalYokel

    Jack The Weasel reminds me of a quote by Groucho Marx…

    “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…well, I have others.”

    • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

      Yokel reminds me of another quote:

      I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.

  • sbark

    I wonder if he is going to have a series of Town Hall meetings across the state to discuss the issue with NDak citizens………now that a few people have read ObamaCare and actually know what is all in it.

    He could bring Conrad, Dorgan, Pommeroy and heck even Heidi along to help persude the “folks”……….they could all wear plaid shirts

  • jimmypop

    is he expanding benefits on his farm?

  • Captornado

    Dalypimple, ND’s own furuncle.

  • ObservingTheProcess

    Looking to me that he is only planning on being a “1 term Governor.”

  • Lynn Bergman

    Why would republicans expect anything different from a person who typically is in the top four on the list of farm subsidies every year. In North Dakota hypocrisy is king!
    WHEN the dollar collapses (not IF), remember the republican governors listed above for their contributions to the federal deficit monster.

    Lord grant us true leadership in public office!

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