The Governor and Legislative leaders are committed to exercising Oregon’s Medicaid Expansion option under the federal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). This expansion will add 225,000 new Medicaid patients beginning in 2014, without adding a single physician beyond the usual medical school graduates. Who will provide the additional medical services? Who will pay the costs? No worries, the federal government promises to pay 100 percent of the expansion costs in its early years, then scale down to paying 90 percent in 2020 and beyond.
This generous promise to pick up most of the tab is made by the U.S. federal government — which has not passed a budget in nearly four years, borrows $90 billion every month and has boosted the federal debt to nearly $17,000,000,000,000 ($17 trillion). For the federal government to make good on its promises to all 50 states would cost $950 billion and add 21 million new Medicaid patients over the next nine years. For Oregon to assume the federal government has the ability to add another trillion dollars of debt on top of its current spiral of indebtedness is more than a mere leap of faith. It is delusional.
How long before Oregon citizens storm the Capitol chanting ENOUGH IS ENOUGH? The Legislature has already made social and health care promises it cannot afford to keep. Now, in addition to the gaping budget holes caused by the PERS Crisis, the governor and Democratic leaders of the Legislature plan to expand Oregon’s Medicaid population by 225,000 new patients.