Lancaster County House Republicans Say Rejecting Medicaid Expansion is a Victory for Taxpayers
HARRISBURG – Lancaster County House Republican delegation members Ryan Aument (R-West Hempfield), Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom), Gordon Denlinger (R-Narvon), Mindy Fee (R-Manheim), Keith Greiner (R-Upper Leacock), Dave Hickernell (R-West Donegal), and Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz) offered the following statement after the House of Representatives today voted to strike down a provision in the 2013-14 Welfare Code which would have allowed for Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania:
“We, as a House delegation, have been consistent in our belief that expanding Medicaid is bad for the citizens of Pennsylvania. We pledged to vote against any budget or budget-related bill that contained provisions to expand the Medicaid program in a letter sent to House leadership last week and were pleased today to uphold that promise by voting to strike down an attempt by the Senate to include expansion in the state Welfare Code.
“We believe it would be reckless and premature to include Medicaid expansion in the Welfare Code while our governor remains in negotiations and still has not received definitive answers from the Obama administration. Critical questions have been asked, yet few answers have been received. With the lack of information, we believe that an immediate decision would be impulsive and unnecessary as there is no deadline to expand Medicaid.
“Overall, we believe Medicaid expansion is a risky investment. ObamaCare has promised states a 100 percent match for every dollar spent on implementation and declines to a 90 percent match in 2020. However, the federal government is $17 trillion in debt and has not produced a budget in four years. Furthermore, the federal government assured states it would pay 40 percent of federally mandated special education costs decades ago, but as of today, Pennsylvania receives less than 17 percent of those costs. We simply cannot trust Washington to follow through with its financial commitments.
“Expanding Medicaid would be costly to Pennsylvania taxpayers. Once implemented, it will cost taxpayers nearly a billion dollars every year, even after assuming the federal government keeps its reimbursement promises to Pennsylvania. We believe it will also significantly increase government dependency. Expanding Medicaid is an expansion of welfare. Currently, there are 2.4 million Pennsylvanians on Medicaid. Expansion could add an additional million to the Medicaid rolls. One in four Pennsylvania citizens would be on Medicaid or CHIP. We simply cannot sustain a system that places more than 40 percent of citizens on a government-run health care system, and relies on an equal number of working citizens to support its costs.
“We believe there are positive steps we can and should take to pursue policies that actually reduce health care costs, including giving patients greater control over health care dollars, providing patients and employers with more health care options and improving the overall quality of care. We need to reform Medicaid, not expand it.”