Human Events Blog

Govs express differences on Medicaid waivers

In expressing their support for states securing waivers from Washington to deal with the Medicaid crisis on their own terms, the Democratic chairman and Republican vice chairman of the National Governors Association voiced differing opinions on just how enthusiastic the Obama administration was for issuing such waivers.

Both Democratic Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware and Republican Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma spoke with reporters Saturday morning at the opening session of the NGA here in Washington.

In speaking of the “continuous dialogue” that governors have with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius on Medicaid, Gov. and NGA Chairman Markell told us that every time he has met with President Obama on this issue, “he brings up the subject of waivers” and how the administration can give states the flexibility to apply lots of different ideas” to the Medicaid crisis.

Human Events then asked Gov. and NGA Vice Chairman Fallin if there was agreement among the governors that the president and Secretary Sebelius are supportive of giving waivers to the states to deal with Medicaid.

“Some,” she replied, adding that Oklahoma did have a waiver and she intended to ask President Obama and Secretary Sebelius to expand it. But, she added, “they may discontinue the waiver.”

The Sooner State governor and NGA vice-chairman went on to say that “the main message” of the governors to the president will be that “the states are great laboratories for innovation,” that state governments know what is “the best fit for our people,” and “each state is different.”

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