The White House's top health official made clear on Monday that it would not fund a partial Medicaid expansion for states that choose not to embrace the new funding under the Affordable Care Act.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote a letter to governors saying the administration "continue[s] to encourage all states to fully expand their Medicaid programs."
In an accompanying blog post, she declared that "the law does not create an option for enhanced match for a partial or phased-in Medicaid expansion to 133 percent of poverty."
In other words, the states must take all or nothing. That sets up a dilemma for Republican governors, who have to decide whether to stonewall Obamacare or accept the generous funding to cover their low-income uninsured residents.
So now the Republican governors, many of who campaigned by saying they were dedicated to fighting against Obamacare, have to either cave in and accept the funding or explain to their constituents why THEIR access to heath care coverage is significantly less than that of their neighboring states.
Damn he's good!
"Some states have asked whether they could get the 100 percent federal match and expand Medicaid coverage to less than the 133 percent of poverty level specified in the law," Mann said. That amount is "a rate that Congress reserved for the full expansion, and so we are going to remain true to that intent of Congress," she said. There is no deadline for states to decide on the Medicaid expansion, and they can join at any time, she said.
So essentially it appears that the administration is going to let public pressure force these contrarian Governors to eventually cave in and accept the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act or risk their political futures.