A day after President Obama said he would support amending the health-care law so states can opt out of key provisions sooner, Republicans sought to shift the rhetorical battle back to an issue that would be largely unaffected by the president’s proposal: the impact of the law’s Medicaid requirements on state budgets.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert complained that by prohibiting states from limiting who is eligible for Medicaid, the law has locked them into unsustainable spending at a time of fiscal crisis.
“Worst of all,” added Herbert, is the law’s mandatory expansion of Medicaid to cover a larger share of the poor beginning in 2014.
“Medicaid is poised to wreak havoc on the state’s budget for years to come,” he said, “threatening our ability to fund critical services, such as transportation and education.”