Republicans have been blaming Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, the state-federal health care program for the poor, for Colorado’s budget woes—even though the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid didn’t cost Colorado anything.
State Sen. Tim Neville, who’s leading a pack of Republicans vying for the chance to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, jumped on the baseless Medicaid-bashing bandwagon in a Jan. 4 interview with the “Americhicks,” Molly Vogt and Kim Munson, on KLZ 560-AM.
Neville: I believe it’s time for the government to re-prioritize, and of course the 800-pound gorilla in the room is the Medicaid expansion, which the governor did several years ago, eating every single dollar that we have in increased expense.
Not only is this false, but it’s really mean, as it pits everything else the government is struggling to pay for (roads, schools, etc.) against funds for the (mostly) working poor, especially those undeserving old and disabled people.
Maybe Neville really meant that he thinks Medicaid is costing the state too much—which, again, would have nothing to do with Obamacare. The program’s costs are increasing, but less than in previous years, due to the growing numbers of elderly and disabled people who are enrolled.
If he’s worried about Medicaid costs, Neville should explain how he wants to “re-prioritize” government, as he put it, and specifically how he’d cut Medicaid or alter it. Neville is known to be unafraid of expressing his Tea Party views, but I can’t find any explanation from him on this one.
I don’t think Neville would follow the lead of GOP Sen. President Bill Cadman, who declined to explain how he’d change Medicaid but, instead, he actually told a reporter to put the question to Democratic Speaker of the state House, Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, even though she’s never suggested cutting Medicaid, as Cadman essentially did last month.
Maybe the Americhicks, who take personal responsibility seriously, will have Neville back on their show—or even land Cadman—and extract some specifics about their Medicaid plans. And, while they’re at it, everyone would love to hear a detail or two on how they’d like to shore up Colorado’s budget.