Certainly by now you’ve heard the news that Gov. Roy Cooper plans to bypass the General Assembly and expand Medicaid in North Carolina. Cooper is repeating the economic boom myth, claiming Medicaid expansion would create 20,000-40,000 jobs. I’ve always been suspicious of this claim—in my view it defies common sense that expansion of an entitlement program would “light a fire”–as Cooper put it– in the economy, rural or urban. In his CJ write-up Dan Way quotes a source debunking it:

“These promises of job creation, and economic stimulus are the same empty promises we hear in states across the country,” Horton said.

“In Kentucky, Obamacare supporters promised to create over 5,000 new hospital jobs. Instead, they lost over 1,200 in the first year of their Obamacare Medicaid expansion. In Arkansas, consultants promised over 1,000 new hospital jobs, but they lost over 800 hospital jobs in the first 18 months of expansion. A similar story has played out in Iowa as well,” he said.

Here’s the other issue—how much longer will Obamacare–which mandated Medicaid expansion– survive? On that front, there’s good news and bad news. The good news—Congressional Republicans are already on track to repeal Obamacare. The bad news? Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz reveals the worst-kept secret in Washington right now: repeal of Obamacare will be in name only (empahsis mine):

There is a lot of anticipation and excitement in the air about the pending repeal of Obamacare, especially after Senate Republicans introduced the budget resolution that will be used as the vehicle for the reconciliation process that could repeal the law and circumvent the filibuster.

The problem is that they plan to repeal only the taxes, subsidies, and Medicaid expansion, but will retain every page of the insurance coverage regulations that are responsible for making insurance actuarially insolvent and depressing the job market. Thus, we are confronted with the worst of both worlds in which the public perception is that Obamacare will be repealed, but the worst aspects — the aspects of the leviathan that are solely responsible for unaffordable premiums and the lack of choice in the market place — will be preserved.

So many moving parts here and we’re still two weeks out from the presidential inauguration. Buckle up.