Speaking of Medicaid, Tom Corbett is tamping down hopes among decent people and legislative Republicans that he may flip flop on the Medicaid expansion:
“First off, what I said was that we can’t recommend it to the Legislature at this time because I believe we need to get some reforms … an expansion is not sustainable in Pennsylvania,” he said [...]
As he has for the last couple of weeks, Corbett said he doesn’t trust the feds to honor their funding promises — 100 percent of the cost in the first three years, dropping to 90 percent after that.
“We have to look at the cost [of coverage],” he said. “Our average cost is already $7,400, which is $3,000 higher than the other states,” he said, adding “We have to look at what the Pennsylvania solution is … not the one-size-fits-all” approach imposed by Washington.
Nevermind that there’s no precedent for the federal government cutting Medicaid support for the states, and therefore no good reason for Corbett to expect the feds to welsh on their promise.
The issue continues to not be cost, no matter how Corbett is framing the disagreement.
The question is what kind of cost cutting Corbett’s rightwing politics will allow. And the answer is not much.
I outlined two major reforms that state government, not Washington, could make that would definitely save money relative to Obamacare’s prescription. A single state insurer would save residents an average of $1000 a year, and cut state health spending by 11%. Adopting Maryland’s all-payer rate setting would also save hundreds of millions a year.
The flexibility is there. Obamacare says that if states can come up with a way to save more money and cover the same number of people or more, then they can do almost anything they want.
Why won’t Corbett propose these obvious money-saving reforms? Because he doesn’t actually care about the costs. He is first and foremost committed to rightwing politics, not what will actually work to save money. There are plenty of good cost saving options, he just doesn’t want to take them.
(via John Micek)