Tester, Schweitzer Speak Out on the States’ Unfunded 11% Mandate

by jhwygirl

Roll Call (hate that firewall…) reports that Sen. Tester is “withholding a direct appeal to Baucus to strike the proposal pending the outcome of the forthcoming merger of Baucus’ Finance bill and legislation previously approved by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. But Tester is prepared to press his case to Baucus and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) if the Medicaid expansion survives.”

Schweitzer and Tester both take issue with having states absorb some of the costs of expanding Medicaid. Schweitzer “couldn’t be reached for comment,” (How whack is that? Seriously?) but Tester articulated his feelings regarding the possibility that states would have to absorb some of those costs:

“Well, they’re concerned about it, same as I am. Gov. Schweitzer’s concerned about the impacts on the budget. Our budget’s in pretty good shape in Montana right now, and if those costs have to be reimbursed, it could break the bank in Montana. I just want to make sure all states are held as harmless as they possibly can.”

Getting back to the ‘How whack is that?’ part….

According to Sen. Baucus, he said Schweitzer has yet to come to him with any complaints: “I’m not concerned. [Gov.] Schweitzer and I talk about this stuff. We’re on board. Last time we talked about it, he said: ‘Fine. Great,’” Baucus said. “We spent a lot of time talking to governors about that. And some governors are OK, and some are not OK.”


Before you shake your head and go blaming all that crazy miscommunication stuff on Baucus, Roll Call point out this tidbit:

In fact, Schweitzer, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, was one of 22 Democratic governors who recently signed a letter expressing support generally for the Finance Committee’s health care reform bill, which included a statement about the need for states to contribute to health care reform.
“We recognize that health reform is a shared responsibility and everyone, including state governments, needs to partner to reform our broken health care system,” the Oct. 1 letter reads.

Under the Senate Finance proposal, states would pick up 11% of the cost of expanding Medicaid eligibility up to 133% of poverty.

Up to 133% of poverty? Seems like there’s gonna be a big gap there….

Currently, most states currently cover parents with children earning around 100 percent of poverty, with the federal government picking up around 57 percent of the tab and the states 43 percent.

So who else is lining up to oppose healthcare under the heinous requirement of this 11% unfunded mandate? Senate Republicans.

All this has me wondering: Where does a health insurance reform wanting Montanan have to go for some support?


  1. problembear

    where does one go j-girl, why to our senator jay rockefeller from W Virginia, of course…..

  2. JC

    Where to go?

    Canada? ;-)

  3. problembear

    word in the swamp is…..max won’t talk to jay anymore. he’s all pouty and stuff. what a maroon. i’m so embarrassed. and it is very difficult to embarrass a bear. trust me.

  4. ladybug

    Timber, coal and ag subsidies come first. Montana can’t afford public health care and corporate predators.

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