How The Baucus Bill Harms State Budgets

Dennis Smith /

Just hours after the Senate Finance Committee completed its mark-up of its version of health care reform, Committee staff released a statement that announced, “[i]n a letter sent to Congressional leaders yesterday, Democratic governors affirmed their shared commitment to expanding health care coverage to millions of low-income Americans through the Medicaid program.”

Worried Governors
The press release, however, overstates the case. The governors’ letter does not even mention Medicaid. The very general sentiments expressed in the governors letter such as “… the status quo is no longer an option …” and “[s]kyrocketing health care costs hurt families …” are broadly if not universally shared. Democratic governors from 21 states signed the letter, of which 8 will be out of office before the Medicaid expansion even begins. One Democratic governor who did not sign the letter, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen warns, “I can’t think of a worse time for this bill to be coming. I’d love to see it happen. But nobody’s going to put their state into bankruptcy or their education system in the tank for it.” (more…)