In the GOP’s weekly radio and Internet address, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota contended that the Democrats’ current proposals do not improve health care because it would force millions of Americans in employer-based coverage into a government-run system.
Governors and state legislators from both parties have said that increased Medicaid costs would overwhelm their already-strained state budgets. In fact, one Democratic governor last week called the increases proposed by Congressional Democrats “the mother of all unfunded mandates.’’
He also said the proposals would burden states because they expand Medicaid coverage without a clear source of funding. In South Dakota, for example, the new requirements could require $45 million a year in new state spending that will “have to come from somewhere, and that means either higher taxes or cuts to other priorities.”
“That’s what we’re facing not just in South Dakota, but nationwide,” he said.
Thune said Republicans would seek reforms that allow small businesses to band together to buy affordable health insurance for their employees; protect doctors and hospitals from frivolous lawsuits; encourage wellness and prevention programs proved to cut costs; and give people who buy their own insurance the same tax breaks as those who get insurance through their employers.