Many Republicans Rejecting Leadership’s Push Toward Medicaid Expansion

The following is from an interesting article published this week discussing the Republicans’ most recent in a long series of betrayals and surrenders.

North State Journal:

RALEIGH — As the Republican-led Medicaid expansion bill speeds toward passage, many in the GOP remain skeptical of the deal struck by legislative leaders. 

Around 22 House Republicans voted against the bill on its third reading in February before the measure was sent to the Senate – and before the surprise announcement at a March 2 press conference that Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) had struck a deal. According to some sources, there was no prior warning that the deal would be announced.

“Adopting Democrat talking points to deliver a victory for Democrats will do more to destroy the base’s trust in Republican leaders than it will ever improve healthcare access in North Carolina,” one Republican operative told North State Journal. “To completely reverse course (on expansion) isn’t just an embarrassing flip-flop with no explanation, it’s completely antithetical to Republicans’ limited-government mission”…

One of Berger’s and the Senate’s top staffers, Brent Woodcox, spent much of the week bashing the John Locke Foundation and WBT host Pete Kaliner over their concerns.

In a series of back-and-forth exchanges on Twitter, Woodcox said JLF CEO Amy O’Cooke’s positions “obviously don’t matter to the outcome here.” 

In another, he criticized their professions, saying of the limited CON reforms in the bill, “Turns out radio rantings and white papers couldn’t get the job done”…

Despite assurances that hospitals, particularly in rural areas will benefit from Medicaid expansion, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) says the expansion has actually contributed to the closing of more hospitals.

The FGA study found that “While expansion proponents are fixated on one side of the ledger — uncompensated care costs — they often ignore the effect of shifting untold numbers of able-bodied adults from private insurance (whether through their employer or the individual market) onto Medicaid, which has lower provider reimbursement rates.”

The flip by Republican leaders has left many of the General Assembly’s longtime allies frustrated.

“Expanding Medicaid is a slap in the face to every Republican voter that took Republican legislative leadership at their word over the last decade. The dynamics of principled and practical opposition to expanding a costly government entitlement program have not changed – only leaderships’ willingness to resist special interest groups,” the GOP operative added.


2 thoughts on “Many Republicans Rejecting Leadership’s Push Toward Medicaid Expansion

  1. It is no secret that all the details of Medicaid Expansion were worked out behind closed doors with the hospitals and thus little or no floor debate. Only 2 Senators voted against the bill which will add 600.000 to the rolls.

    Hard to understand Berger et al giving Cooper a win .

    1. This is a major capitulation, Fred, and a major example of GOP weakness and ineffectiveness. And the leadership is enforcing party discipline on this matter in the GOP caucus in both the House and Senate. A really tragic turn.

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