Why do we, as conservatives, oppose Medicaid expansion in Virginia (speaking generally, not for any TFF position)? This chart from Drew Gonshorowski at the Heritage Foundation’s Foundry Blog (via John Taylor of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy) demonstrates why, in very stark terms. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, in a desperate attempt to get governors to adopt the Obamacare state health insurance exchanges, has peddled the fallacy of “free money” (direct funding from the federal government) for Medicaid in the short term (thus the net savings through 2016). In essence, it’s a bribe with taxpayer money at the cost of massive debt her administration won’t have to pay back. After that, though, the states face the obligations of the expanded government-run health program on their own, which sticks them with unconscionable costs and burdens for years to come — not to mention the crowding out of traditional services state and local governments provide, such as police, fire, rescue, transportation and education.
There’s no such thing as free money. There is something called unsustainable debt. But try telling that to proponents of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion.