Dems Divided on Taxes, Medicaid Expansion

• July 13, 2012 11:17 am


Senate Democrats remain divided over President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on incomes above $250,000, making it unlikely that the plan could garner a simple 51-vote majority in the upper chamber.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Jon Tester (D., Mont.), who are all facing difficult reelection challenges in 2012, have expressed concern with the plan, while Sen. Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats and is retiring at the end of the year, has said he opposes it.

At the state level, at least seven Democratic governors have refused to commit to the dramatic expansion of Medicaid mandated under President Obama’s controversial health care law. Last month’s Supreme Court ruling gave governors the ability to opt out of the expansion; several Republican governors have already said they would do just that. According to the Washington Post:

While the resistance of Republican governors has dominated the debate over the health-care law following last month’s Supreme Court decision to uphold it, a number of Democratic governors are also quietly voicing concerns about a key provision to expand coverage.

At least seven Democratic governors have been noncommittal about their willingness to go along with expanding their states’ Medicaid programs, the chief means by which the law would extend coverage to millions of Americans with incomes below or near the poverty line.

"Unlike the federal government, Montana can’t just print money," Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) said in a statement Wednesday. "We have a budget surplus, and we’re going to keep it that way."