There is another aspect to implementing ObamaCare that Dr. K leaves out, but bears mentioning, and that is its expected impact on the states. Texas alone has estimated that ObamaCare will saddle it with $27 billion in expenses which aren’t currently accounted for. The Heritage Foundation says that ObamaCare amounts to a “fiscal timebomb” that threatens state budgets all over the country.
For Mississippi, Milliman estimates that between 206,000 and 415,000 people will be added to Medicaid, with a 10-year impact on the state budget of between $858 million and $1.66 billion. The seven-year cost of the Medicaid expansion in Indiana is estimated to be between $2.59 billion and $3.11 billion, with 388,000 to 522,000 people joining the state’s Medicaid rolls. Finally, Milliman estimates that Obamacare will result in nearly one of five Nebraskans being covered by Medicaid at a cost of $526 million to $766 million over the next decade.
So there is a great deal more than just the retail politics and the optics to consider here. ObamaCare threatens to crush state budgets, in a time when many states are already struggling and several, such as California, are flirting with bankruptcy. Texas is considering dropping out of Medicaid just to fight off the ObamaCare threat.
And then, there’s the politics. If the Republicans rode to victory in 2010 on a message of thwarting Obama and his big government agenda, only to play games with ObamaCare in 2011 in ways that may allow his signature legislation to stand, they’re toast. There will be a third party, and it will come from an angle that hurts Republicans and empowers Democrats. Bank on it.