In his inaugural speech for the Florida House 2013 session, Speaker Will Weatherford heavily emphasized his opposition to Medicaid expansion. Good for him!
Medicaid, the federal program of medical insurance for poor people, is set to expand next year as part of Obamacare. Those who make 133% of the federal poverty line will then be eligible for what we may now call Obamacare-Medicaid. That eligibility will end up further stretching already strained state budgets.
Nevertheless Weatherford didn’t have the guts to oppose the faulty idea of a safety net. Perhaps realizing that such consistent opposition could end his political career, he made a lame case for the safety net. Bad for him!
The public can certainly empathize with Weatherford that he lost his baby brother:
He was in and out of the hospital for seven months. My Mom and Dad basically lived at the Ronald McDonald House – because they couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel. After two major surgeries, Peter lost his battle with cancer and my father found himself with a mountain of medical bills that he could never afford to pay. It was the safety net that picked my father up.
Yet who is to say that there would be no safety net at all if there were no civil government safety net? In fact, Weatherford himself only mentions a private safety net, the Ronald McDonald House.
True, if we must have a government safety net, then it should actually work as efficiently as possible — at least for something flawed in its very foundations. But once the camel’s nose is in the tent, who can readily — in all honesty — oppose the rest of the camel entering?
Here are some of Speaker Wetherford’s better comments — with my highlights of the good parts:
“Members, I also firmly believe that a government that grows too big, becomes too intrusive, and fosters too much dependency will threaten our liberty, our freedom and our prosperity.
Members — I am opposed to Medicaid expansion because I believe it crosses the line of the proper role of government. I believe it forces Florida to expand a broken system that we have been battling Washington to fix, and I believe it will ultimately drive up the cost of health care.
This inflexible plan, thrust upon us by the federal government, is not aimed at strengthening the safety net. It pushes a social ideology at the expense of our future. The trouble with this social experiment is that it is destined for failure.
The notion that we’re going to receive free money from the federal government is laughable. This is the same federal government that has not passed a budget in nearly four years. This is the same federal government that spends 1.2 trillion dollars more than it takes in in every year.”
He sounds as if we just keep Obamacare-Medicaid from being too large, all would be well. What level would be small enough?
If he would heartily and completely support the kernel of conservative ideas in those comments, what right-thinking voter wouldn’t in turn support him? Certainly opposing Medicaid’s expansion — in which the states have say-so — is wise.
But true wisdom would be holding and arguing for a consistent view based on principle.
Still, we wish him well in fighting Gov. Rick Scott’s desire to expand Obamacare-Medicaid. Scott said, “I cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care.”
Of course, in good conscience, he is perfectly willing to deny taxpayers their hard-earned cash.