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Sebelius Highlights New Medicaid Grants as Treasury Rolls Back Obamacare Implementation

So far, many states have refused to implement parts of the healthcare law. For example, the Democratic-controlled Senate in Massachusetts is currently at odds with the federal law’s effect on the state economy.

“The commonwealth, by and through the governor or the governor’s designee, shall formally request a federal waiver to avoid the adverse effects of rating and rule changes to the Massachusetts merged market, to protect consumers and businesses in the commonwealth and in an effort to maintain current Massachusetts rating and rule requirements,” says legislation passed by the state Senate.

“All negotiations with any federal agency concerning this waiver shall be conducted in consultation with a member of the house of representatives as appointed by the speaker of the house and a member of the senate as appointed by the senate president.”

Pennsylvania State Rep. Matt Baker, the chairman of the House Health Committee, said Pennsylvania would not implement Medicaid expansion under Obamacare due to fiscal issues.

“Medicaid is a public assistance program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW). The system has many problems meeting the health care needs of the 2.2 million children, disabled, elderly and single mothers who are currently enrolled in the program,” said a press release from Baker’s office on Monday.

“Forty percent of the entire state budget is already being dedicated to DPW, and Medicaid is costing approximately $600 million more per year to meet existing program costs.”

Baker said the state would be “foolish” to trust the federal government’s “assurances” of payments to cover the Medicaid expansion costs.

“Adding up to 800,000 able-bodied adults to the public Medicaid system that would put one in four people on public assistance within DPW could potentially cost up to $4 billion by year 2020 and siphon critical funding away from education or other important programs and services,” Baker said.

“Although the federal government is trying to woo states into expansion with the promise of federal payments to cover the bulk of the costs for the program in the beginning years, we would be foolish to blindly trust such assurances.”

Despite many states’ challenges coping with the law and the employer mandate setback, Sebelius said a “new health insurance marketplace” would open across the country on Oct. 1, a key part of the healthcare law.

“Over the next few months, we’ll be working with partners across the country to let people know about the new coverage options coming their way this fall,” she said.

“Our success in getting kids signed up for Medicaid and CHIP will provide great guidance as we embark on the historic effort we’ll see in the months ahead.”