Kevin Smith First To Call for Opt-Out of ObamaCare's Medicaid Expansion

Smith: Medicaid expansion would be “precursor to a single-payer plan”

If the fallout from Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling shows one thing, it’s that the Democrats just don’t get it. Since the ruling, the Democrat candidates for governor – Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley – have reaffirmed their support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, most commonly known as ObamaCare. What’s worse, Hassan and Cilley have been unable to publicly state whether or not they would support a federal takeover of health care by forcing a vast expansion of Medicaid on the states under the ObamaCare law.

On Thursday, June 28, Kevin Smith, Republican candidate for governor, condemned ObamaCare and was the first to say that New Hampshire should opt out of any Medicaid expansion under the federal law:

“New Hampshire GOP gubernatorial candidate Kevin Smith weighed in on the Medicaid expansion issue, telling The Lobby Thursday morning New Hampshire should opt out of any Medicaid expansion because it appears to be a precursor to ‘imposing a monolithic single payer system.’ He continued, ‘Every time the government gets more involved with the state's Medicaid program, the more expensive and the less effective it becomes.’” (A New Hampshire reaction to the health care ruling, The Lobby NH, June 28, 2012

On Saturday, June 30, The New Hampshire Union Leader editorialized against the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare, strongly stating that New Hampshire should opt out:

“On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the expansion was unconstitutional because the law did not simply adjust the Medicare law, but “transformed” the program. States now have the option of saying no to the new enrollment plan and keeping their existing Medicaid guidelines. New Hampshire cannot afford any expansion, so it needs to opt out. But can we count on Lynch to do that? Probably not. That would leave this overdue and necessary act to the next governor.” (Opt out: Say no to Medicaid expansion, New Hampshire Union Leader, June 30, 2012

The New Hampshire Union Leader followed up their recommendation by suggesting:

“Voters need to ask the candidates how they would handle that decision. Tens of millions of dollars — a year — hang in the balance.” (New Hampshire Union Leader, June 30, 2012

Kevin Smith has been clear on his position regarding a vast and forced expansion of Medicaid and that New Hampshire should opt out:

"I believe that New Hampshire should opt out of any Medicaid expansion, because it could lead to the federal government imposing a monolithic single payer system. Every time the federal government gets more involved with the state's Medicaid program, the more expensive and the less effective it becomes. New Hampshire is just now implementing its own managed Medicaid program, so we can more efficiently and effectively manage our care and services. To impose a new slate of federal mandates and regulations would be counterproductive in our efforts to effectively care for our citizens.” (Press Statement, June 28, 2012

Kevin Smith noted that an expansion of Medicaid would prevent New Hampshire from making Medicaid more efficient and cost-effective:

“’This is going to ruin our efforts to control costs under Medicaid,’ Smith said.” (Ruling gives NH options on Medicaid, Nashua Telegraph, July 1, 2012

“…Republican Kevin Smith, said he was disappointed in the court's decision, but took heart in one aspect of the ruling.

Although the court upheld the central tenet of the of the health care law — the individual mandate to buy health insurance — the justices also struck down a provision aimed at expanding Medicaid coverage.

The Supreme Court's decision stripped the teeth from that provision, essentially making it optional for states to comply with the Medicaid expansion.

Smith hailed the court's decision Thursday, saying the Medicaid increases would bankrupt states. He said the court prevented a ‘federal takeover of a system that is best managed by the state.’” (New Hampshire pols react to Supreme Court ruling, Foster’s Daily Democrat, June 29, 2012

Kevin Smith further commented on the Surpeme Court’s ruling, calling ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid a “precursor to a single-payer plan” that would bankrupt the states.

“’Although I'm disappointed that the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, I'm encouraged that they struck down the expansion of Medicaid that would have been the precursor to a single-payer plan and bankrupted the states. This reinforces the fact that we need to focus on controlling health care costs, and not on over-regulating the health insurance system. It also reaffirms Medicaid's status as a state and federal partnership, and prevents a federal takeover of a system that is best managed by the state.’” (Supreme Court Upholds ObamaCare, NH Patch, June 28, 2012

“‘It's at the state level that the most innovative delivery of services for our most vulnerable citizens takes place. New Hampshire can most effectively and efficiently provide health care to its citizens,’ he said. ‘As governor, I will work to protect the integrity of the Medicaid system and ensure that New Hampshire is providing a health care safety net for its neediest citizens.’” (New Hampshire Democrats applaud health-care ruling, GOP bemoans it, Eagle Tribune, June 29, 2012