Sep 21 2011

Graham Legislation Allows States to Opt-Out of Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) today introduced the Medicaid Flexibility for States Act to allow states to ‘Opt-Out' of Obamacare's costly expansion of Medicaid.

Barrasso and Graham noted Medicaid in its current form is crushing the states financially. The expansion called for under Obamacare will exacerbate the problem.

  • Obamacare will add 17 million new people to the Medicaid rolls beginning in 2014.
  • States are already proposing serious cutbacks in provider reimbursement and services not mandated by the federal government to deal with growing budget shortfalls.

"I'm confident that if given the chance a large number of states would opt-out of Obamacare's forced Medicaid expansion," said Graham. "In South Carolina, expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare will add an additional $1 billion in state matching funding requirements. When fully implemented nearly 30 percent of South Carolinians will be eligible for Medicaid. States like South Carolina can simply not afford this burden. Our bill takes the issue out of Washington and puts it back in the states. I would hope every Senator, regardless of party, would give the people of their home state a chance to be heard."

"The President's one-size-fits all health care policy is not the right prescription for our states," said Barrasso. "The Medicaid expansion is crushing state budgets. Governors realize that in order to deal with this unprecedented mandate, they will have to take money away from education and other important public services. States deserve to have the flexibility, freedom and choice to make decisions about how best to help the people in their own state. Giving them the choice to opt-out of the Medicaid expansion provides states the opportunity to provide people with the care they need from the doctors they want at prices they can afford."