Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez doubled down on his total and complete opposition to Obamacare last week, saying the law's core plan to expand healthcare coverage under Medicaid is a path to "ruin."
But on KOA's Mike Rosen Show June 26, Beauprez didn't answer a caller's question about whether he'd turn down federal Medicaid funding, a move that could deprive over 150,000 Coloradans of health-care coverage.
During the initial years of Obamacare, the federal government is picking up most or all of the costs of expanding Medicaid to cover the uninsured, and state economists say Colorado will likely not bear additional costs as federal funds recede.
Beauprez's radio outrage at Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, makes me think he'd reject the federal funds if he were elected, as other Republican governors have done. Earlier this year, you recall, on KVOR's Jeff Crank Show, he promised to "repeal" and "replace" Obmacare, adding, "What we can do, and what I look forward to doing, is everything within a governor's power and the state's power to push back, especially on this Medicaid bomb that is coming our way."
"The Medicaid expansion as part of the Obamacare mandate is going to bury the states." Beauprez told a caller on Rosen's show last week, who said he had health insurance thanks to Medicaid expansion. "It may personally benefit you, but that's part of the challenge in front of this country, is that the cost of the Medicaid expansion is absolutely unsustainable. I wish we had 45 minutes to explain it, but trust me, this is a path to nowhere - to ruin. I guess it is a path to somewhere - to financial ruin."
Rosen didn't ask Beauprez to answer the caller's blunt question ("Would you turn down the Medicaid dollars?"), but Rosen couldn't resist doing some Medicaid bashing of his own.
"I'd throw this in, too," Rosen said on air, following up on Beauprez's statement above. "If you're also concerned about the general interest, and not just with benefits, keep in mind, that this Medicaid expansion is bait. That is, states that sign up for this will get some money at the front end, but then that money disappears and the states have to come up with those massive expenditures to cover those promises."
"That's the fiscal ruin I was talking about, Mike," Beauprez told Rosen. "It's simply unsustainable and they know it! It was the prototypical bait and switch."
Unfortunately, we don't know what Beauprez would do about it. Would he reject the federal funding? Would he chip away at it? What's his plan?
And, FYI, here's the original question put to Beauprez on Rosen's show.
Caller Chris: How's it going, Bob and Mike. I would consider myself to be, I guess, a moderate Democrat. Right now, you know, I'm a 24 years old, and under Obamacare Medicaid expansion, the Medicaid program has been able to extend to me, a young male. As governor, are you going to follow in the footsteps of, you know, like Rick Snod and Rick Snyder and all these guys that are turning down, you know, these Medicaid expansions? Because I've got to tell you, I mean, Medicaid is not for people that are, you know, sitting on their bums all day. You know? I work full time. Um, my wages, we just don't -- they don't provide healthcare for me. And it has become a real help for me and a lot of Colorado residents. Would you turn down the Medicaid dollars?