Republicans have shaped the healthcare debate to be as much about entitlement reform as about stabilizing marketplaces for those who purchase their own insurance.
Democrats, however, want nothing to do with the discussion about growing entitlement spending.
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume asked Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to address Medicaid sustainability.
Durbin responded with a dodge, nevertheless, Hume persisted: "Is not Medicaid expanding at an unsustainable rate and does not something have to be done… to curb the growth of this program and others like it?"
Durbin responded, "Brit, let me tell you what is expanding at an unsustainable rate, and that is the notion that people would not have health insurance under this Republican approach."
Watch it, for the sheer beauty of the shameless dodge.
The dodge shows that Democrats are totally uninterested in addressing problems of Medicaid spending.
The federal government spent $368 billion on Medicaid in 2016, and spending on the program is projected to continue rising. At its current rate of growth, the CBO projects that federal spending on Medicaid will be $650 billion in 2027, and total spending on the program between 2018 and 2027 will be upwards of $5 trillion.
Jason Fichtner of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has pointed out that spending of this magnitude perpetuates fiscal strain by increasing deficits and crowds out other budget priorities.
Say what you will about the Republican policies to address Medicaid spending, at least it's a strategy. Not only are Democrats failing to offer an alternative approach; they hardly acknowledge the problem of unsustainability, dodging questions for the sake of rebutting the whole bill.