ND House Votes For Obamacare Expansion Of Medicaid

double-facepalm

Here’s a question: Why bother electing Republicans if they won’t block bad Democrat health care policy?

Because that’s exactly what the North Dakota House did today. After a lengthy debate (video here), in which not a single Democrat participated, the House majority voted to implement the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid. The bill, HB1362, was divided into one portion that was the expansion of Medicaid and another portion that was a study of the Obamacare impact on North Dakota. The vote on the Medicaid expansion on its own was 58-35 (the majority kept the expansion in the bill). The vote on the bill in its entirety was 57-36.

Rep. Todd Porter called the bill “pro-business,” and that’s true from a certain perspective. By expanding Medicaid, businesses will now be allowed to dump their employees off of health insurance and avoid paying a penalty when they’re enrolled in the government program (for the employees that qualify).

But this was very much an anti-taxpayer bill. By agreeing to this expansion, the state is signing up for a 45% increase in the number of people on Medicaid. While the federal government has promised to pay all of the expansion initially, and 90% years from now, we all know that our bankrupt federal government will eventually pull the funds, and the state will be obligated to keep paying for the program.

Because, as House Majority Leader Al Carlson noted in his floor comments, the North Dakota legislature has never stopped a program like this once they’ve started it.

House Republicans today voted to expand an already bloated health care entitlement program, locking the state taxpayers into more of what is already problem spending, and voted to help implement a law they all claim to dislike for no really good reasons at all.

Again, I ask, why do we even bother electing Republicans?

The fight isn’t over, the Senate must concur, but with Governor Jack Dalrymple backing the expansion the best chance for killing this was in the House, and that didn’t happen.

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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