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March 27, 2010

ØbamaCare -- Unfunded Federal Mandates Will Break State Budgets, Too

We've already seen reports of the frighteningly huge national debt that Comandante Zero's new Øbamunist scheme will burden the nation with in coming years. And that doesn't take into account the financial burden that we will see put upon states already struggling with budget difficulties.

Because of the new health care law, Arizona lawmakers must now find a way to maintain insurance coverage for 350,000 children and adults that they slashed just last week to help close a $2.6 billion budget deficit.

Louisiana officials say a reduction in federal money to hospitals that treat the uninsured under the bill could be a death knell for their state-run charity hospital system.

In California, policymakers estimate they will have to come up with an additional $500 million a year to make necessary increases in payments to Medicaid providers.

Across the country, state officials are wading through the minutiae of the health care overhaul to understand just how their governments will be affected. Even with much still to be digested, it is clear the law may be as much of a burden to some state budgets as it is a boon to uninsured consumers.

California, for example, is going to face an extra half-a-billion dollar hit in the first year of ØbamaCare, and that figure will increase every year. Where will that state, which is facing a financial crisis of the sort not seen in by any state in this country since Reconstruction, find the extra money to pay for these unfunded mandates? For that matter, even states like Texas, with a relatively robust rainy day fund, will be facing new budget difficulties -- the Lone Star State will be expected to shoulder at least $370 million dollars when the Øbamunist health care scheme is launched. Such financial burdens will hit most every state under the newly adopted law.

Moreover, the ØbamaCare legislation forbids any retrenchment of state Medicaid and SCHIP programs between now and 2014, and will require that states ramp-up to the new standards applicable in 2014. This means that the states are no longer permitted to engage in the sort of innovation that made some states models of efficiency which were eventually followed on a national level -- and that states are now merely agents of the federal government which are required to follow directives from central planners in Washington. This overturns the entire constitutional notion of federalism that was established by the Framers and explained in the Federalist Papers. The states are, in effect, negated by this law.

So, unless the federal courts overturn this Øbamunist scheme, Republicans manage to score electoral victories that enable them to repeal and replace ØbamaCare with a more rational health care reform package, or the states call for a Constitutional Convention and ratify an amendment to reassert their proper role, you can expect higher state and local taxes to go along with the increased federal taxes (implemented in violation of Comandante Zero's own campaign promises) and higher health insurance premiums mandated under ØbamaCare.

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