Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio – a clarification

Let me be clear: I’m not arguing that the feds should have denied the Arkansas expansion. I’m fine with getting more people good insurance coverage. I can live with this, just like I lived with the Senate version of the ACA bill (which had more exchange and less Medicaid), and just like I could have lived with Wyden-Bennett.

My bafflement comes from taking the other side at their word.

Many claimed that the ACA cost too much. They said it would raise the deficit. They opposed the expansion not only because it raised the federal price tag, but also because it was “fiscally unsustainable” for states in the long run. I took them at their word.

I’m now surprised that they prefer a solution that costs more.

This is not unlike my previous bafflement at arguments against Medicaid. Often, the same people would argue that (1) Medicaid costs too much and (2) Medicaid under-reimburses providers. (1) and (2) are incompatible. You can’t fix both. Choose.

They did in Arkansas. They chose to spend more. A lot of pundits are now claiming they feel the same way. That’s fine. They’re allowed to change their minds.

They’re claiming they haven’t, though. The problem is that the Internet is forever. Their writings are still around. And anyone with Google can see that their arguments are inconsistent. I’m just surprised more journalists can’t seem to note this.


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