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Obamacare Makes State Budget Problems Worse

Obamacare is making state budget problems much worse, as governors now lament. Earlier, CEI filed an amicus brief in Florida v. HHS on behalf of two governors explaining how the radical changes to state Medicaid programs resulting from Obamacare violated limits on congressional power under the Constitution's spending clause. Some of the fiscal burdens Obamacare imposes on states are obviously huge, while many others are ambiguous, unpredictable, and contingent on bureaucratic caprice, and uncertain future events. Governors like Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) and Donald Carcieri (R-R.I.) warned earlier about the crippling costs of Obamacare to state budgets, but they were ignored by Obama and Congressional Democrats in their headlong rush to pass the health care bill. An adviser to Gov. Bredesen, James Blumstein (a professor of constitutional and health care law at Vanderbilt), argues that Obamacare is a violation of constitutional limits on Congress's power under the spending clause.