You argue that the state cannot afford Medicaid expansion. I commend you on your concern for balancing the books. Let me point out, however, that there is a huge human cost that the state will have to bear if Medicaid expansion is rolled back. So I would ask you to look at this issue from a different point of view. Suppose one of your children came down with cancer. Further suppose that you were uninsured, and living from paycheck to paycheck. Would you prevent your child from getting the best possible treatment because you could not afford it? Or would you move heaven and earth to be able to pay for the needed treatment?
As governor, you must move heaven and earth to make sure we can afford to keep Medicaid expansion. It is the only compassionate option.
Take it easy
The Democrats in congress made a huge mistake in drafting the Affordable Care Act. They called for a penalty for people who are not insured. Instead, they should have given a tax deduction to people who are insured. This way, nobody could say that the government is forcing me to buy health insurance. Today, we don’t have a groundswell of complaint about “the government is forcing me to buy a house”. That is because we get a tax deduction on mortgage interest that helps people buy homes. If instead, we had a penalty for people who don’t buy a house, there would be no end to the howling.
However, the net effect of having a tax deduction for those who do something and a penalty for those who don’t do something could be exactly the same.
Next time someone complains that people shouldn’t be forced to buy health insurance, ask them if they should be forced to buy a house. Then explain to them that the net effect of the penalty for not buying insurance is the same as if we had come up with a revenue neutral tax deduction for those who buy health insurance, and that there are multiple precedents for tax deductions.