Obama: Expanding Medicaid Under Obamacare ‘Doesn’t Cost You a Dime’

By Ali Meyer | September 29, 2014 | 5:52pm EDT

Persident Barack Obama. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) -- President Barack Obama criticized Republican governors in states where they are not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, saying, “It always puzzles me when you decide to take a stand to make sure poor folks in your state can’t get health insurance, even though it doesn’t cost you a dime.”

Medicaid is funded completely with taxpayer money.  Obama made his remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 27.

“But we know our work is not yet done until we get into more communities, help more uninsured folks get covered, especially in those states where the governors aren’t being quite as cooperative as we’d like them to be,” he said."You know who you are.  It always puzzles me when you decide to take a stand to make sure poor folks in your state can’t get health insurance, even though it doesn’t cost you a dime.  That doesn’t make much sense to me, but I won’t go on on that topic.  (Applause.)  We’ve got more work to do."

The president even admitted that he was going off script saying, “It’s easy to take a stand when you’ve got health insurance. I’m going off script now, but – that’s what happens at the CBC [Congressional Black Caucus].”

There are 26 states and the District of Columbia that have expanded their Medicaid programs; 24 states have not expanded such programs.  “Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will fund 100 percent of the cost for states to expand Medicaid for three years, and that will gradually decline to 90 percent of the costs in 2020 and beyond,” CNSNews.com reported earlier.

(Alabama Medicaid Agency)

Gov. Robert Bentley (R-Ala.) spoke out against expanding Medicaid earlier this year saying  it would take our nation deeper into debt and is not really “free.”

“The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,  and Medicaid expansion is taking our nation deeper into the abyss of debt, and threatens to dismantle what I believe is one of the most trusted relationships, that of doctors and their patient,” Bentley said. “Ladies and Gentlemen, nothing is free. The money the federal government is spending with wild abandon is not federal dollars – those are your dollars, your hard-earned tax dollars.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-Louis.) said  the expansion could cost taxpayers in his state $1.7 billion.

“Medicaid expansion could cost Louisiana taxpayers up to $1.7 billion over the first 10 years of implementation, and the cost will keep rising,” said Jindal. “Even if you believe the federal government will keep its promises and won’t further shift costs to states (and they recently cut our match rate to its lowest point in 25 years), even advocates for Obamacare admit the federal subsidies are front-loaded and that expansion will eventually cost the states.”

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