BYH, never just believe internet quotes from famous people, but check multiple sources to confirm it. I think I read on...

Hood: Cooper errs on Medicaid


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Roy Cooper spent his last few weeks as governor-elect of North Carolina attacking the state legislature for encroaching on the separation of powers, weakening the rule of law, subverting the will of the voters, and hurrying new policies through too quickly, without adequate discussion or consultation. He then spent his initial few days as governor of North Carolina doing precisely what he’d accused the legislature of doing.

Cooper’s first big mistake involves the same issue that severely damaged Barack Obama and his administration: the Affordable Care Act. The president came into office determined to expand government control of health care. He spurned contrary views and pushed through what he wanted. The public didn’t like it. Obamacare is the single-biggest reason why the Democratic Party is at its weakest point since the 1920s.

But progressives remain convinced that policy success and public approval are just around the corner, and that Republicans won’t repeal and replace the ACA’s core policies of Medicaid expansion and government-run insurance exchanges. I don’t know if Cooper agrees with them or believes he has no choice but to indulge the fantasies of his political base. I do know the decision he announced on Jan. 4 — to seek Medicaid expansion in North Carolina through executive action — is a colossal blunder.

Republican lawmakers have passed multiple laws to forbid Medicaid expansion without their approval. They get to do that. Medicaid expansion requires a state appropriation to match federal dollars. It is also a policy matter about which the legislative branch has constitutional authority.

I don’t see any way for the ensuing legal dispute to end well for the governor and Democrats. Either the North Carolina Supreme Court will confirm the obvious and deny Cooper the arbitrary power he claims to have to change state policy and appropriate state funds. Or, having just shifted from a 4-3 Republican majority to a 4-3 Democratic one, it will issue a dishonest opinion that will seem far partisan than anything the GOP-majority court ever did — while still not giving Cooper an actual win on Medicaid expansion.

How come? Because by the time such a decision is rendered, there won’t be an Obama administration to play with. The Trump administration is hardly likely to approve a Democratic governor’s scheme to circumvent the will of a Republican legislature. Moreover, the Republican Congress will likely reform Medicaid in ways that will make the dispute moot, either by forestalling expansion altogether or by rewriting the rules in such a way that state Republicans may decide to accept somewhat-broader eligibility rules in exchange for spending caps, flexibility, and private options.

By claiming unilateral authority to expand Medicaid, Gov. Cooper destroyed the political narrative he and his progressive enablers in the media had created after the 2016 election. Whatever you think of the Republican legislature’s decisions they didn’t constitute a large-scale change in public policy or obligate the state to spend billions of dollars without legislative approval.

The governor’s Medicaid gambit encroaches on the separation of powers, weakens the rule of law, and subverts the will of the voters who have elected a Republican president and Congress to take health care policy in a different direction. It also represents a major policy change hatched without adequate discussion or consultation, thus alienating even longtime advocates of Medicaid expansion such as the state hospital association who want bipartisan action.

John Hood is chairman of the John Locke Foundation.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

May 20, 2018


“God bless America!" I exclaimed to nobody, as the dog and cat watching the Red Sox game with me were napping.

Pitcher Hector Velazquez had induced a timely double play, ending an Orioles scoring threat. Short to second to first; that is, Tzu-Wei Lin (Taiwan) to Brock Holt (Texas) to…

Gene Lyons

May 19, 2018

When the phone rings at 2 a.m. it’s a pretty safe bet there isn’t good news, as Bill found out that December in 1960. The agent on the other end said, “Dr. Friday, I need to see you right away.” No, it couldn’t wait until the next morning. UNC President Bill Friday put…

Tom Campbell.jpg

May 19, 2018

A CNN poll last week showed that most Americans think Barack Obama was a better president than Donald Trump has been. The margin was huge: 19 percentage points.

Trump supporters will yell "fake news," but they'll be wrong. Respondents to the same survey thought Hillary Clinton would have been a…

albert hunt

May 18, 2018

North Korea's recent temper tantrum over U.S.-South Korean military exercises and its threat to pull out of its upcoming summit with President Trump are signs that Trump's North Korea strategy is working.

Over the past several months, Trump has boxed in Kim Jong Un. First, he ramped up economic…


May 18, 2018

If you ask people what caused the opioid crisis ravaging our country, you'll no doubt hear that doctors are to blame for handing out painkiller prescriptions too liberally. That narrative makes sense: Over the past few decades, doctors have massively increased the amount of opioid prescriptions…

Robert Gebelhoff

May 18, 2018

The most offensive and corrosive idea in our politics today is that some Americans are more "real" than others. Don't you dare buy it.

Republicans are cynically peddling this un-American conceit. "Real Americans" elected and continue to support President Trump, they claim, in defiance of snooty…

Eugene Robinson

May 17, 2018

A young friend of ours who worked for Hillary Clinton in 2016 waved a big caution flag recently about the fall elections. The same complacency that doomed Clinton is starting to afflict Democrats again, she warns. Too many party operatives are convinced that a "blue wave" will sweep the Democrats…

Steve and Cokie Roberts

May 17, 2018

To understand the sorry state of federal public corruption law and its present inability to punish even the most egregious influencepeddling, consider a hypothetical scenario involving President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen.

Cohen was reportedly paid several million dollars over the past…


May 17, 2018

I speak on behalf of the Slave Holding me, when I say, what I believe she would say, if she was still alive, or want me to say on her behalf, which is this: that the Statues of the Confederate Civil War Soldiers, should remain UP; but with one caveat.

It is said that .."one who does not remember…

May 16, 2018

Scott Pruitt, the embattled director of the Environmental Protection Agency, still has his job in part because the White House doesn't think it can get anyone it would want to replace him confirmed by the Senate. Gina Haspel's nomination to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency is hanging…

277 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 28
        Next Page»   Last Page»