State Opposition to Federal Healthcare Reform

I’ve wondered why state governors and legislators haven’t been more vocal opponents of the healthcare reforms being drawn up in Washington.  All these proposals would put huge financial burdens on the states.

I haven’t seen much in the news until this article appeared, reporting that two Florida state senators are proposing that the state examine dropping out of the Medicaid program (which is jointly funded by the federal and state governments) and starting a state-only program to replace it.

The story appeared in the Lakeland Ledger and as far as I know hasn’t been picked up by other papers.  Perhaps it will be in the next few days.

I’d like to see the story get lots of publicity, and I’d like to see state legislators in other states jumping on this bandwagon.  (OK, it’s not a bandwagon yet, but it could become one.)  I’m amazed that with Congress trying to place such a huge financial burden on state governments in their proposed healthcare reforms there hasn’t been more vocal resistance by state governments.

Congress is telling the states, “We’re going to design a healthcare reform, but we’re going to make you pay a substantial amount of the cost.”  Are state legislatures really so passive that they are content to let people in Washington dictate how a big chunk of their revenues will be spent?

Randall G. Holcombe is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University. His Independent books include Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis (edited with Benjamin Powell); and Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America .
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