John Hickenlooper and Andrew Cuomo both fancy themselves Presidential material. Cuomo, because of the exaltation he has won from progressives nationally for his aggressive push for gay marriage in New York. Hickenlooper, because he managed to get just over 50 percent of the vote against Tom Tancredo and Dan Maes. (Yawn.)
But Hickenlooper and Cuomo have at least one big thing as a difference…Cuomo has been among the Democrat Governors who has tackled Medicaid reform.
Hickenlooper? He thinks Cuomo and the other Democrat and Republican Governors who have reformed Medicaid are law-breakers…petty criminals, who don't follow the law.
From the AP's Ivan Moreno:
Hickenlooper insisted that Medicaid waivers are not possible and that the new federal health care law prevents states from restricting eligibility.
"We can't cut Medicaid. It's against the law," he said after the hearing. [Peak emphasis]
…Under Hickenlooper's budget, Medicaid next year would account for $185.6 million out of the $227.1 million increase in the general fund.
Really, Governor Hickenlooper? We thought you were a brewpub owner, not a lawyer.
Is it really illegal to reduce the growth in Medicaid spending?
Here's some of what Cuomo did in New York, according to Reuters:
New York's fiscal 2012 budget cuts more than $1.2 billion from state aid to local school districts and reduces spending on the state's Medicaid program by $2.8 billion.
The budget sets an annual cap of $15 billion on Medicaid spending and ties future spending increases to a national index. Similarly, future education spending will be linked to personal income growth.
Somebody call the Medicaid cops. Hickenlooper says Cuomo broke the law.