Tom Corbett and the Republicans are going to try to argue that PA “can’t” afford to expand Medicaid, but that doesn’t make any sense. The state has limitless power to tax. If you need more
money to pay for the Medicaid expansion, you can raise tax rates to bring in whatever amount you need. I promise this will work.
The actual issue is that they don’t want to raise tax rates to pay for the Medicaid expansion. It’s what you’d expect from Republicans, but that’s no reason for the media not to challenge them on this. Ask them why. Ask them why a very small tax increase wouldn’t be worth it to insure many thousands of people.
Or alternatively, aren’t there cuts that can be made elsewhere in the budget? Reporters need to ask them why they think preserving loopholes and tax exemptions – like the $2.8 billion spent annually subsidizing fossil fuels – is more important than the insurance expansion.
It’s absolutely not true that the state “can’t” afford to expand Medicaid. If the expansion doesn’t happen, it’s because the party in power thinks the downside costs of raising taxes and cutting other spending aren’t worth paying.
But it’s not obvious why they think that. People should ask them why rather than just accepting the talking point at face value.