Embattled Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said earlier this year that the states who’ve declined the health-care law’s Medicaid expansion are downright “evil” in a web interview with another university professor.
In a discussion for HealthInsurance.org, first cited by White House Dossier, Harold Pollack of the University of Chicago began by suggesting that turning down the Medicaid expansion was part of “a politics of impunity towards poor people, particularly non-white poor people,” that’s a “feature rather than a bug in the internal politics in some of these states.”
“You know that’s a great way to put it: there’s larger principles at stake here (sic), when these states are not just turning down covering poor people, but turning down the federal stimulus that would come with that,” Gruber replied. “They’re not just not interested in covering poor people, they’re willing to sacrifice billions of dollars in injections into their economy in order to punish poor people.”
“I mean, it really is just almost awesome in its evilness,” Gruber escalated. “And I agree, you have to recognize there’s larger principles at stake here.”
Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion allows states to offer Medicaid to people earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line with federal dollars for a several years. Under current law, states will have to pay 10 percent of the cost of the expansion after three years.
The health-care law was written so that if a state chose not to expand the program as the Obama administration wanted, the federal government could strip the state of all Medicaid funding as punishment. The Supreme Court struck that provision down in 2012.