Conservative radio show host and Virginia’s “Commander of Common Sense” John Fredericks has come out with a ringing endorsement of the Medicaid expansion deal brokered by Democrat Governor Ralph Northam and House Republicans:
For four years, I sang a different tune. I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow conservatives at Americans for Prosperity, former Speaker Bill Howell, and other Republicans to fight Medicaid Expansion.
At the time, the future of the Affordable Care Act seemed uncertain, and banking on its promises appeared financially risky. There were fears it would collapse, or be repealed, leaving states to pay for a huge new entitlement we couldn’t afford. That seemed like an unsafe bet for Virginia.
That all changed in 2017.
Today, I unequivocally support the House plan to expand Medicaid to hardworking families in Virginia. Here’s why:
Obamacare isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. After years of trying, Congressional Republicans showed us in 2017 they couldn’t repeal the law. And even if they try again, which seems unlikely, it’s doubtful they will be successful this year or beyond.
In addition to lacking votes, federal Republicans last year showed us they’ve never had anything approximating a viable replacement plan after years of making empty promises to constituents in fundraising letters. In other words, they misled us.
Fredericks bases his shift on Medicaid expansion on several factors, least of which are (1) the adoption of Indiana-style block grants and Kentucky-style workfare requirements, and (2) the advent of the Trump administration, whose constituency will be best able to take advantage of the reforms.
In short, Medicaid expansion becomes a good deal because Donald J. Trump will be setting the rules and the pace — plus it helps out the folks in southwest Virginia who are paying the taxes but receiving none of the benefits on the federal side of the equation.
Read the rest of it here.
Fredericks joins a chorus of conservative and center-right opinion leaders in Virginia, including Jim Bacon over at Bacon’s Rebellion.