The Medicaid Expansion Is Corporate Welfare

Corral Creek Oil

The ND House is set to vote later today on an expansion of North Dakota’s Medicaid program as called for by Obamacare. It’s a huge expansion, a 45% increase in the number of people enrolled, and neither the state nor the federal government can afford it.

But it’s also corporate welfare as I point out in my newspaper column this week:

The business community is very much interested in this expansion. You’ll notice the Chamber of Commerce is backing the expansion, and that’s because businesses take a short term hit if the state doesn’t expand Medicaid. Under Obamacare, businesses meeting certain criteria must provide health insurance for full time employees, those working 30 hours a week or more, or else they pay a fine. But if those employees can be covered by Medicaid, the businesses can safely push that expense off on the taxpayers.

We can be sympathetic about the position businesses find themselves in, but that’s an argument for repealing, or at the very least reforming, Obamacare. Not saddling taxpayers with the responsibility to provide health insurance to tens of thousands of additional enrollees in the state.

Let’s hope the House kills the Medicaid expansion, though even if they do the odds that it may come back up later in the session are pretty good. But it’s a bad idea. It’s bad spending policy. It’s bad business policy. It’s bad health care policy.

Rob Port is the editor of 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.

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  • camsaure

    The legislature is going to have to decide for or against socialism, which unfortunately our governor has already proven to be a socialist.

    • ec99

      When you pull in what he does in ag subsidies it’s not a surprise.

    • Kevin Flanagan

      ND has state bank and mill; it already is socialist.

      • ec99

        ND has always been a socialist state. The rugged individualism joke is a scam. Don’t forget, one governor agreed to be Huey Long’s VP running under the motto “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Envy of success is so thick, the prevailing opinion is that people got screwed on the way up.

      • camsaure

        And now, sadly, thanks to RINOs, we have a state ski resort.

        • Kevin Flanagan

          Wax up those skis and start shushing!

  • Lianne

    I have heard from both of my reps and they will be voting no! Good for them!

  • Lynn Bergman

    Go to this CATO site to see that medicaid is on a fast track to surpassing medicare in annual expenditures.
    Note especially the meteoric rise in the number of federal subsidies.
    I’ve long believed that it is medicaid that will bankrupt our country because it encourages individual irresponsibility concerning health. Eat like a pig, smoke like a chimmney, drink like a fish… and Uncle Sam will seat you in your wheelchair and pay for the rest of your so-called life…