Friday, January 08, 2010

We Don't Want An Apology-Go Away

More after the jump.

Webb and Warner owe Virginia an apology

Senators place party before commonwealth

Two weeks ago, while most Virginians prepared to celebrate Christmas with family and friends, Virginia's two senators quietly broke faith with the commonwealth, voting for the Obama health care bill. In addition to adding an estimated 261,927 people to Virginia's Medicaid rolls, Sens. James Webb and Mark Warner "charitably" committed Virginians to pick up the Medicaid tab for half-a-dozen other states.

Medicaid already is so expensive that it threatens to bust the bank in Virginia. We commit one-sixth of the state budget to Medicaid - $7 billion a year. Now Virginia's two senators hope to impose on their own state a federally mandated increase in Medicaid enrollment of nearly 30 percent.

Skilled politicians that they are, Messrs. Webb and Warner hedged, of course: They expressed a few doubts, uttered a few platitudes about cost-cutting, and touted their "independence" and credentials as mavericks. But at the end of the day, they were right there with President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, burdening Virginia with new costs we can only begin to fathom.

Mr. Webb, in particular, had the tough talk down pat - insisting that true reform must not create "a cumbersome, overly bureaucratic system." He pledged that his vote would be contingent on eliminating proposed Medicaid cuts, excluding abortion coverage, and ensuring fair and equal treatment. His statements were refreshing - and ultimately meaningless. Mr. Webb's Democratic colleagues ignored his objections, and he dutifully and passively submitted, voting for precisely the kind of bill he said he would reject.

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