Reflex: October 25, 2011

GOP governors oppose Obama plan to cut Medicaid spending, reports Sam Baker. Republican governors on Monday urged the congressional supercommittee to consider major changes to Medicaid, but not the cuts in federal spending that President Obama has proposed. The Republican Governors Association said in a letter to the supercommittee that Obama’s proposal would simply shift costs to the states. Democratic governors also oppose Obama’s plan, for the same reason.” Aaron’s Comment: I get that states see reduced federal spending, with no plans to lower costs, as just cost-shifting. But it’s hard to understand why they don’t see even more reduced federal spending in the name of “block grantsas the same.

Ricky Perry lays out his tax reform plan in the WSJ. The plan is sketched in broad outlines, but would allow people to pay a flat tax of 20% or their tax burden under the current system. Don’s comment: Need more details, but the flat tax proposal maintains some tax deductions and credits, but the most significant one from a health policy standpoint: the deductibility of employer paid insurance is not mentioned. Tax reform could have a great impact on health policy. As always, the devil is in the details. Update: via twitter @aviksaroy reports speaking to Gov. Perry policy staff who say his flat tax proposal would leave the tax exclusion of employer paid insurance intact and here is a post by Avik to that end. Update 2: Philip Klein has more.

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