What the administration has done is basically admit that these payments to hospitals will never end, something that would have been eventually learned through a court order had the cuts actually been attempted. Back in June of 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states had the legal authority to reject expansion and the federal government could do nothing to penalize states for it. The exact language in the ruling says:
“What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.”
As Governor Phil Bryant has been saying all along, DSH payments are part of that existing funding. To remove the payments would be a violation of the ruling.
The Obama Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services has been working on a piecemeal approach with states for the past several months to convince them to participate, because without states buying-in to Medicaid expansion the whole house of cards that is ObamaCare comes tumbling down. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, President Obama decided to give himself a time-out on Wednesday to reassess.
That reassessment will not likely lead to an admission of a mistake by the President, nor is it likely to bring two sides to the table for a “do-over” on health care. It’s more likely that both sides will continue to point fingers at the other while ObamaCare slowly turns into yet another ineffective behemoth federal program that mostly serves the bureaucrats who implement it.