Americans for Tax Reform sent a letter to members of the Louisiana Health and Welfare Committee today, urging them to oppose legislation that would have the state go along with Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled is a matter in which states have a say. Below is the text of the letter sent by ATR president Grover Norquist to Louisiana legislators:
On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our members across Louisiana, I write today in strong opposition to the proposals to expand Medicaid spending in the manner proposed and incentivized by the federal legislative monstrosity that is Obamacare. Fortunately, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government cannot mandate that states expand their Medicaid programs and lawmakers in Baton Rouge have the freedom to choose not to go along with this ill-advised expansion that is sold as a sweet deal for states, but is proven to be a sucker deal upon full examination of the proposal. Simply put, Medicaid in its current form is already growing at an unsustainable rate and the burden that Obamacare’s proposed expansion would place upon the Louisiana economy and your constituents would be crippling.
Even without being duped into Obamacare’s suggested expansion, Medicaid costs are growing at an unsustainable rate with your constituents on the hook for covering the soaring costs. Total federal and state Medicaid spending has ballooned from $70 billion in 1990 to an estimated $400 billion today: a whopping increase of 571 percent.
Medicaid expansion in the Pelican State could wind up costing taxpayers $1.7 billion over the first decade of implementation with costs continuing to increase in the years to follow. In fact, state funds spent on Medicaid have already doubled in the past 15 years. Expanding this program only serves to diminish available funding for other public services such as education, transportation, and public safety.
Another consequence of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is that the program itself imposes hidden additional costs that will undoubtedly be passed down to taxpayers. As Michael Cannon, the Director of Health Policy Studies at the non-partisan Cato Institute, states:
“Medicaid discourages work and charitable effort among the taxpayers who fund it, while discouraging self-sufficiency and encouraging dependence among beneficiaries. Medicaid also imposes costs that stem from overuse of medical care, increasing costs for private payers, and giving patients poorer quality care than they could obtain with private coverage.”
Your counterparts in other state capitals, such as your neighbors in Texas, are wisely moving to block Obamacare’s suggested Medicaid expansion and other detrimental provisions of the bill, which includes 20 new or higher taxes on your constituents. These lawmakers are commendably doing all they can to prevent or mitigate the economic and financial havoc wrought by this law. Louisiana legislators would be wise to do likewise.
This committee today can ensure the Pelican State remains as economically competitive as possible by rejecting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. ATR will continue to monitor this issue closely and will educate your constituents as to how their representatives vote on this important matter.
To view a PDF copy of the letter, click here.