Pete Hoekstra: 'Michigan Could Impact Obamacare in Washington'
Former U.S. Rep.: 'There are already people in Washington, D.C., talking about cutting dollars on the federal end and putting more of a burden on the states'
Former U.S. Congressman Pete Hoekstra says if Michigan lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid, it could help force the federal government to change Obamacare.
"I think the more that people resist implementation of Obamacare, the more likely it will be that we'll see incremental reforms to it," Hoekstra said Wednesday.
Hoekstra, who served 18 years in Congress, went on to say that the more that individual states go along with Obamacare by expanding Medicaid, the harder it will be to change or reverse the direction of Obamacare.
"Increasingly, there are Republicans and Democrats who are foreseeing that this (Obamacare) will be a train wreck," Hoekstra said. "The more people there are who are already riding that train, the louder the outcry will be to keep it going."
Hoekstra's observations come as the Michigan Senate considers House Bill 4714, a measure to expand Medicaid in Michigan. The bill has been passed by the Michigan House, with 48 Democrats and 28 Republicans supporting it. If the Senate passes the bill it will be on its way to Gov. Rick Snyder, who would likely sign it into law.
Medicaid expansion is currently the top issue state lawmakers face regarding Obamacare. The Obama administration has tied hundreds of millions of dollars up-front to states that are willing to expand Medicaid.
Hoekstra said that Michigan lawmakers should say "no" to Medicaid expansion, not only because of its national implications, but also because of its long-term fiscal implications.
"Expanding a statewide program and betting that the federal dollars will be there long term would be very risky for a state like Michigan," Hoekstra said. "There are already people in Washington, D.C., talking about cutting dollars on the federal end and putting more of a burden on the states."