Gov. Bryant Foresees Planetary Alignment, Won’t Expand Medicaid


There’s still a slim chance that Obamacare will be repealed (not really) so Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has no plans to participate in the expansion of Medicaid.

BRYANT: “For us to enter into an expansion program would be a fool’s errand. I mean, here we would be saying to 300,000 Mississippians, ‘We’re going to provide Medicaid coverage to you,’ and then the federal government through Congress or through the Senate, would do away with or alter the Affordable Care Act, and then we have no way to pay that. We have no way to continue the coverage.”

Congressional Republicans have tried, and failed, to repeal Obamacare nearly 50 times and the law has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

To quote John Boehner, because I know he would hate it, it’s “the law of the land.”

By his own admission, Bryant is denying healthcare to 300,000 citizens of his own state based on something that could maybe, possibly, might, but won’t happen.

Bryant’s comments came during an interview with the Associated Press focused on his efforts to drug test welfare recipients so consider me skeptical that the possible repeal of Obamacare is his true concern.

  • joseph2004

    One of the major reasons a number of states refused the Medicaid expansion was exactly that the Federal Government could not be trusted over the long haul to continue footing the bill for what in many states would be a huge expansion of Medicaid enrollments. The ACA created an enrollment standard such that anyone whose income approached something like 133% of the federal poverty level would be eligible for Medicaid (however it’s administered by the states). Some states, like Minnesota, the most generous, allowed participation for people with incomes up to around 274% of the poverty level. Others, like Alabama, among the least generous (which will often have a lot to do with how wealthy a state is to begin with), coming in at 25%, must, if they participate with the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, assume the higher federal ACA limit. The result is that Alabama stands to see a huge increase in the number of Medicaid enrollees, while states like Minnesota stand to save money (or at least see little or no increase in necessary outlays) if they lower their income rules to match the ACA-required levels.
    It’s not so simple as saying non-participating states are being mean to people, which seems to be the most common complaint from Democrats looking to score political points; there are real $ issues involved, and if a state barely has the financial resources to support even a modest Medicaid expansion, that same state will think long and hard about the implications of accepting the ACA expansion proposal. If it were so simple as just accepting $billions in federal dollars, even Republican-run states would be all in, but as with that wonderful Federal Stimulus program that did practically nothing, the ACA has attached to it conditions for participation that some states perceive as unwarranted federal encroachment on their ability to govern in their own best interests.

    • Rollo Tamasi

      “the Federal Government could not be trusted over the long haul to continue footing the bill ”

      Has the Fed govt stopped footing the bill on any other programs that would lead these number of states to believe it won’t in this instance?

      • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

        In fact Mississippi is yet another red welfare state which has taken more from Federal coffers than it has contributed for many generations.

    • muselet

      Allow me to quote Steve Benen:

      Let’s think about this for a minute. There are, by everyone’s estimation, several hundred thousand folks in Mississippi who would benefit from Medicaid expansion. According to Bryant, the state could help them, but he doesn’t want to – because in his mind, Congress might repeal the health care law at some point in the future, and the state wouldn’t be able to afford to pick up the slack.

      But even by GOP standards, it’s impossible to take this seriously. For one thing, it’s pretty obvious Congress isn’t going to repeal the law, as even the most right-wing lawmakers on Capitol Hill are grudgingly conceding.

      For another, even in the extraordinarily unlikely event that the law is repealed sometime after 2017, Mississippi could simply revert back to its current policy once the federal well runs dry. In other words, Bryant is effectively telling struggling families, “We’ll refuse to help you now because of the remote possibility we may no longer be able to help you later. It’s better to leave you with nothing now and for the foreseeable future than risk helping you and your family for the next several years.”

      There is simply no defense for such nonsense.

      Yet here you are, frantically trying to defend it.

      You really don’t get tired of being ridiculous, do you?


    • GrafZeppelin127

      “…the Federal Government could not be trusted over the long haul…”

      Translation: They know that we won’t have a Republican president again for a long, long time.