Dalrymple: Funding For Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Is “Free Money”

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“North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple makes four Republican governors who’ve decided to back an expansion of Medicaid to their poor residents under President Barack Obama’s health care law,” reports the Huffington Post. “Dalrymple submitted a bill to the state legislature last week proposing the state broaden Medicaid.”

I wrote about Dalrymple slipping the implementation of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion into his budget for the Department of Human Services last week. It’s a frustrating flip-flop for Dalrymple who seemed opposed to implementing Obamacare back when the Supreme Court upheld the law:

The fact that the Supreme Court decision permits mandated health care coverage does not mean that the Obama administration’s health care plan is good policy for the nation. The health care plan is wrong for North Dakota. Our citizens want the freedom to make their own decisions about their health-care coverage.

Instead of embracing government-run health care supported by a tax on the American people, we should be pursuing market-based reforms that make heath care more affordable, that encourage greater participation and provide Americans with more choices.

I call on Congress to enact meaningful reforms that reflect the wishes of the American people.

But now Dalrymple is telling the local media this:

In an interview after the hearing, Dalrymple said the national spotlight on the expansion program and its ties to Obamacare can sometimes make issues seem more difficult, and believes this might be one of them.

“We try to leave the politics out in the hallway when we make these decisions. In the end, it comes down to are you going to allow your people to have additional Medicaid money that comes at no cost to us, or aren’t you?” he said. “We’re thinking, yes, we should.”

At no cost to us? Is Governor Dalrymple forgetting that federal money is not free money? Are we not all federal tax payers too?

And is that the deciding factor, whether or not the money is “free” federal money? How about we ask, does North Dakota really need a Medicaid expansion? We hear Dalrymple and others brag about the strength of the state’s economy. We have rock-bottom low unemployment. We have growing personal incomes.

When our state is prospering, do we really need to be expanding our health care entitlement programs?

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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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