After the Supreme Court tossed the Medicaid expansion portion of Obamacare and said it would be up to states to opt-in, Gov. Brian Sandoval said "oh dear we must wait and see, mustn't we?" which to the highly overrated governor's credit is actually a more rational response than the flat-out "hell no" delivered by most of Sandoval's fellow Republican governors.
Nevada's Democratic legislative leadership, meantime, took a firm and strong stand in favor of ... Sandoval's wait-and-see approach. An exception was Democratic Assembly Health and Human Services Committee Chair April Mastroluca, who shamefully raced to reinforce wingnut narratives and said "I don't think it would be in our best interests to expand right now."
(Harry Reid had the sense, or at least the political investment in Obamacare, to tell the truth: that given the enormously generous federal payments [never less than 90 percent of the cost of expansion] and Nevada's traditionally sky-high rate of uninsured low-income people, Medicaid expansion in Nevada is a "no brainer.")
If state officials are going to freak out about the cost of Medicaid, they should know, as Bill Clinton pointed out while thoroughly demolishing Republican policy in Charlotte, that Mitt Romney proposes to slash federal Medicaid spending by a third over the next ten years. That means states will be forced to dramatically curtail Medicaid services, or pick up more of the tab on their own. Perhaps at some point between now and the election, Romney apologist Brian Sandoval might explain why his candidate wants to shift a huge financial burden from the federal government to Nevada, and why that is such a good idea.
Dean Heller should also be forced (media? hello? anyone?) to explain why this is such a good idea -- Heller, after all, has already voted to shift Medicaid costs to states at least twice when he voted for the original Ryan budget.
Every third word out of Shelley Berkley's mouth is Medicare. Might she be coaxed into hammering Heller on Medicaid, as well?
Medicaid is known primarily as the program that provides health care for low-income mothers and children. But as Clinton pointed out, a huge portion of Medicaid spending is used to provide nursing home and Medicare premium assistance to none other than Berkley's holy sacred senior citizens.
It is tempting to suggest that Heller either hates poor kids and their poor grandma, or he thinks that the state of Nevada (already one of the cheapest states in the nation) needs to spend less on education and infrastructure so it can spend more on Medicaid. But either suggestion assumes Heller's support for gutting Medicaid was a deliberate act of policy sentience instead of a thoughtless knee-jerk political reaction.
In any case, Sandoval and Heller, and Joe Heck too -- to say nothing of the Romney Nevada campaign and the rest of the "Team Nevada" corporate Republican machine -- are championing a policy that will either cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars or, more likely, deprive health care to Nevada's most vulnerable citizens. It would be nice, not only politically but, you know, for the poors, if Nevada Democrats could take a few minutes out of their busy schedule to pound the living shit out of Nevada Republicans on this issue. Ooh, look, another diamond ad. Sigh.