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GOP Governors Name Their Price On Health Care Law Expansion

Sunday, July 15, 2012

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Two dozen Republican governors fought all the way to the Supreme Court to win the right to reject President Barack Obama’s expansion of Medicaid under the health care law.

However, just a few weeks after the Supreme Court sided with them, some of these governors are leaving themselves an opening to expand Medicaid anyway — but on their own terms.

Five Republican governors said Friday they would consider expanding the program if the feds gave them Medicaid dollars in block grants, which has been a goal of Republicans since the 1990s.

That was when the states had their strongest leverage, with the help of a Republican Congress, to demand freedom from federal rules to reshape the social safety net the way they wanted it. They pushed a welfare reform bill that President Bill Clinton signed into law, and almost had the same success with Medicaid block grants. That idea was too much for Clinton, and he vetoed the bill that passed Congress.

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