07/19/2012 02:21 pm ET | Updated Sep 18, 2012

Use Online Sales Tax to Pay for Medicaid Expansion

A good lawyer thinks of problems. A great lawyer thinks of solutions. Add Mississippi attorney and blogger Philip Thomas to the great category.

Thomas has the brilliant idea to use a predicted tax windfall from Internet sales to fund Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Republican governors, eager for new revenue to ease budget strains, are dropping their longtime opposition to imposing sales taxes on online purchases, a significant political shift that could soon bring an end to tax-free sales on the Internet.

Many states oppose the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare -- which would cover millions of uninsured working Americans -- because they say they are too broke to afford even the 10 percent contribution required under Obamacare. Even though such an expansion of medical coverage would provide a huge stimulus to the states' economies (and therefore tax revenues).

Thomas notes that Mississippi's share of this revenue is predicted by the Journal to be $303 million annually -- an amount that would go very far to help citizens of the nation's poorest state. According to Thomas, about $160 million would cover the state's share for Medicaid expansion to an additional 250,000 to 400,000 people in Mississippi.

Many of these are the "working poor" who have jobs in Walmart or nursing homes, but no hope of ever affording health insurance on their own. What governor in his right mind would turn down healthcare for his state's most vulnerable and hardworking citizens? Imagine all the lost productivity, to businesses and families, that comes from untreated illness. And imagine all the good jobs that will be created to meet their healthcare needs.

It's a no brainer. And thankfully one lawyer has the smarts to call for common sense.