Josh Barro over at Bloomberg News has an interesting
theory on why Governor Paul LePage is so upset at the Obamacare
mandate that he called the IRS "the new Gestapo" (and then pretended to apologize). Barro's theory? That LePage
knows he'll have to work with the federal tax agency, rather than being able to
tell President Obama to "go to hell," as LePage promised on the campaign trail.
Barro's analysis is based on the idea that Maine's
Medicaid program, MaineCare, already covers
many people included in the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare - so Maine will get the same
coverage it now gets, for a lot less, thanks to federal subsidies.
What Barro misses, though, is the latest news - that LePage
actually wants to dump all those extra people off Medicaid, rather than
collecting federal dollars to keep covering them.
Nevertheless, Barro's point
that LePage hasn't declared outright that he'll skip the federal money - along
the lines of Texas
governor Rick Perry - is worth noting as a key distinction between this Tea
Party governor and others around the country.