As lawmakers gear up for the passage of their massive Healthcare overhaul, citizens the country round are beginning to do the math and they do not like what they are finding. Far from a handful of orchestrated Insurance Company protests there are countless and growing grass roots uprisings in opposition to the Democrats’ pricey healthcare reform. The astonishing momentum behind Republican Candidate Scott Brown of Massachusetts is just one such example. Here in Colorado word is spreading of a January 19th meet-up on the state’s capital steps in protest to the healthcare monstrosity. And gearing up for an opt-out referendum on the November ballot, Colorado is far from alone.
Thus far, some nineteen state legislatures, not including Colorado, have mounted legislation in opposition to various tenants of Obamacare. Indeed, every state whose burdensome Medicaid expansions will not be cushioned by a ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ ought to be paying close attention to the math associated with the impending healthcare reform. Governors, both Republican and Democrat, have begun to express mutual concern over the costs of the legislation’s Medicaid expansion. Save Nebraska, should this legislation pass, states will be saddled with financial burdens numbering in the billions.
State budgets, rattled by the effects of the recession, are already operating in the red. And governors, who will feel the real sting of the Medicaid mandates, have begun to disregard party allegiances in opposition to the expansion of a program states are already struggling to afford. Governor Phil Bredesen, Democratic of Tennessee is quoted as referencing Obamacare as “The mother of all unfunded mandates.” On behalf of states, Bredesen has also noted that, “We can’t print money. We can’t borrow money. A lot of staffers in Congress really don’t understand this idea of a balanced budget.” But whether or not the voters “get it,” the message will be crystal clear when they’re handed the tab. Not to mention the impact it will have on a reduction in the quality of Medicaid coverage it will, by necessity, slam the average state income tax rate by leaps and bounds. And all this from a President who promised the voters that those earning less than $250 dollars would not see a rise in taxes.
Citizen protests notwithstanding, Senator Bennet and Congressman Perlmutter will continue in their commitment to the President’s healthcare demands even as the voters of Colorado gather in opposition. Tomorrow morning, alongside State Representative Cindy Acree and Jon Caldara from the Independence Institute, Colorado will send a stern warning to their Federal and State elected Officials. If they do not do their job, the people will. The form of opposition is varied from state to state. In Colorado, the message will include a ballot initiative which will allow the citizens of Colorado to decide on their own whether or not Obamacare is something they can afford to subsidize.
Elected officials would be wise to remind themselves that state participation in Medicaid is fully voluntary. And Americans would be wise to do the same. While pulling the tablecloth out from under the program is an unlikely reality, state budgets may be left with few alternatives as their deficits continue to soar. Our legislators have turned Congress into a Theories Class where neat ideas and childish demands get in the way of grown up solutions to real world problems. They have that luxury because when it is all said and done it is the taxpayer who has to transform their utopian logic into realistic solutions. Regardless where you stand along the political spectrum, every American ought to be outraged by the level of debt mounting on the backs of the next generation of Americans. It is an infantile attitude to believe that we can afford all things at all times. Like a family budget, it is unreasonable to expect an end to debt when the vast majority of the family input involves spending.