The Wall Street Journal
: Governors Press On Medicaid
Medicaid was created in 1965 to provide health coverage for the poorest Americans, particularly those with children. States pay, on average, 43% of the tab for Medicaid. Washington pays the rest and, as part of the new health-care law, the federal government restricts states' ability to save money by narrowing eligibility for the program or charging more for coverage. As a consequence, states like Maine that expanded Medicaid in good times find themselves locked into maintaining those expansions despite big deficits. "It's unbelievably unsustainable," says Gov. Paul LePage, who took office in January. "We have to continue to be generous when we're broke and that's where the problem is" (Murray, 4/23).