Medicaid Expansion

Steve Hinebauch
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
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There has been a lot of talk about Medicaid Expansion (Obamacare). Here is some of what I know. One of the first things I look at when I see a bill is the Fiscal Note. This bill had a fiscal note of about $1.4 Billion for the biennium, which would cause one of the largest spending increases ever in the state of Montana. To put it in perspective, that would be approximately $1400 for every man, woman and child, or $5600 for a family of four. That is a lot of money for each family to be responsible for to give insurance to able bodied people, ages 18-64. 90% of the $1.4 Billion comes from the Federal taxpayers, you and me. 10%, which is $140 million, comes from the state taxpayers, again, you and me. That is unless the Feds change the rules and decide to pay less which would make the state pay more. In order to get the state’s $140 Million, the bill sponsors had to decide who to steal it from. There were lots of ideas because there is never a bad tax when it comes to liberals: cigarettes, workman’s comp, private health insurance and many others. One of the big ideas was to raise the bed tax on sick people in the hospitals. The hospital bed tax was raised to $70 per day. So, the next time you, or one of your family, are in the hospital remember that part of your bill is a tax so able-bodied Montanans can have free health insurance.

On the subject of abortion, we should remember this is Obamacare. How prolife was Obama? Thirty-four states administer their Medicaid Expansion program consistent with the Hyde Amendment, which prevents most abortions. Fifteen states have a policy that directs their Medicaid Expansion programs to pay for most abortions. Montana is one of the 15. This was mentioned a few times in the Medicaid Expansion debate in the Montana State Legislature. So, the idea that some legislators didn’t know anything about the abortion coverage is a little farfetched. In addition to that, Medicaid Expansion pays for “sex change” surgeries.

In November 2018, almost 70% of HD 37 and over 64% of HD 38 voters voted against Medicaid Expansion (Obamacare), I-185, because they didn’t want to pay for able-bodied people to get something for nothing. As a Montana Senator, I was proud to vote like the voters in southeastern Montana. The trouble is there weren’t enough people in the legislature that voted like most of the voters in southeastern Montana. So, we have Medicaid Expansion.

The other thing that I look for in a bill, is who is for it, and who is against it. Some of the groups that were for it, and spent a lot of money promoting I-185, were the hospitals (who claim to be non-profit businesses), Planned Parenthood (a big abortion provider in Montana), the ACLU (a bunch of liberal lawyer activists), health insurance companies, unions, and many more liberal organizations. When most of these groups are for something it is a big red flag to me.

The biggest problem I have with Medicaid Expansion is that it is Socialism. It takes from people who have and gives it to people who don’t make an attempt to have. In most of the debates about Obamacare, Medicaid Expansion, or any other government paid healthcare, the sentiment is “we owe it to them.”

If somebody will vote for a big give away program like Medicaid Expansion, they will probably vote for anything to take your money away and give it to someone else. That isn’t what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they sacrificed to start this country. Vote smart during this primary season.

(Steve Hinebauch is a Montana Senator.)