Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Zach Wamp's Disconnect with Reality on Health Care

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 5:57 PM

"It adds 16 million people to state Medicaid programs, TennCare in our state, without the money to pay for it."

OK, here's our question: Isn't there an expectation in a civilized society that political leaders maintain some connection to reality? Zach Wamp is either playing tricks on voters or he's willfully ignorant.

As we pointed out previously, it's true the national health care law expands Medicaid coverage, adding an estimated 200,000 beneficiaries in Tennessee over the first five years. But the federal government won't pay the usual two-thirds of the cost of these new beneficiaries. The feds will pay the whole bill for all of them until 2017. At that point, states will start paying a 5 percent share. That share would grow to 7 percent in 2019 and top out at 10 percent in 2020. By any sane standard, it's a great bargain for the states to provide universal health care.

"This is completely unheard of," Congressman Jim Cooper says. "In any prior year in modern American history, governors would have championed this as the greatest deal they could ever have dreamed of."

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