Rep. Gary Palmer warns of the Medicaid expansion ‘trap’ — Costs ‘will eventually swamp the state’
Monday on Birmingham’s radio’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) advised policymakers in Alabama to avoid falling into what he called the “expansion trap,” referring to a push to expand Medicaid rolls in Alabama.
In recent weeks, some Republican lawmakers in the state legislature have softened their stances on Medicaid expansion, which in Alabama has been a policy promoted by Democrats.
Palmer explained to co-host Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg why he was against it and warned that expanding Medicaid has risks associated with it.
“I’ve been very forthright about it,” he said. “It’s a bad path to take. We ought to go ahead and follow up on block grant waiver requests that the state has submitted to the federal government and manage the money – let the state manage the money, take the federal administration out of it. When you expand Medicaid, the administrative costs and the cost of expansion will eventually swamp the state. It has other states. Illinois is about to go bankrupt. Plus, it forces more people on the waiting list in the expansion state. Just in those states where Medicaid was expanded, 22,000 people have died on waiting lists. That’s what happens when you run out of money. And that was from the beginning of expansion to the first of last year. And that number has surely gone up.”
“I would caution against it,” Palmer added. I think the state put together a model waiver request for block granting the Medicaid money to the state. I think the state should follow through on that and do that. I think that makes more sense than the expansion trap.”