What Conservatives Are Ignoring About Gruber’s Statements: Feds Funded Romneycare
One of the items that’s come out as a result of the videos of MIT’s Jonathan Gruber is being totally ignored by the media. It’s that Romneycare was able to survive because of money from the federal government that then-President Bush signed off on to help then-Governor Romney.
Gruber: “The dirty secret in Massachusetts is the feds paid for our bill, OK? In Massachusetts, we had a very powerful Senator you may know. His name is Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy had basically figured out — Ted Kennedy and smart people in Massachusetts — had figured out a way to rip off the Feds for $400 million a year.”
He’s talking about the deal from the federal government that helped Massachusetts set up its 2006 coverage expansion, which later became the basis for the Affordable Care Act. It’s hardly a secret. And Bush re-authorized the deal in 2008.
The short story is basically this: Massachusetts, since the late 1990s, had been receiving special Medicaid funds through a waiver to fund care for populations the program traditionally didn’t cover. In 2005, President George W. Bush wanted to end that funding, worth about $350 million. But Kennedy, working with Romney, put together a deal to keep the funds and then some by expanding Medicaid and providing subsidies to help low-income people purchase private insurance. The Bush administration signed off on that deal, giving us Romneycare, which then gave us Obamacare.[su_csky_ad]