Cassidy-Graham, as we have discussed, is farcical even by the standards of reactionaries using federalism as a pretext. Tom Price delivers the punchline:
The millions of dollars that Minnesota wants to spend to limit rate hikes in the individual health insurance market could cost the state millions more in federal funding for low-income health care.
That news came as a nasty shock to the state officials who have waited months for the federal government to sign off on Minnesota’s reinsurance plan, and to Gov. Mark Dayton, who fired off a testy letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, Minnesota lawmakers approved a “reinsurance” program with a goal of stabilizing the individual market, which is mainly geared to people without employer-provided insurance. The Legislature’s plan called for spending $542 million over two years, but is contingent on federal approval.
In his letter to Price, Dayton said state officials have learned that Minnesota’s request for a waiver “will soon be approved.” However, Dayton wrote, they also learned that Minnesota is in line for a corresponding reduction in federal funds for MinnesotaCare, which serves a group considered the “working poor.”
Why, I’m beginning to think that Republicans care more about taking away people’s health insurance than states’ rights! Although I’m not sure if Tom Price’s commitment to the Equal Sovereign Dignitude of the Laboratories of Democracy can match John “and you thought JFK was the most overrated John Kennedy” Kennedy’s:
Republican Sen. John Kennedy (La.) is reportedly eyeing a ban on state single-payer health care systems in the new GOP ObamaCare repeal bill.
“I think a single-payer system is a bad idea,” the senator said Monday in comments reported by The Washington Examiner.
“I think if you give a big chunk of money to California they’re going to go set up a single-payer system run by the state and then come back and say, ‘We don’t have enough money, we need more.’ I think the only way we are going to solve the health care problem in America is through the private sector.”
Given how inadequate the block grants are banning single-payer is almost certainly superfluous, but nice of Kennedy to say the quiet parts loud.