Remember earlier this year, around the time news of the ACA roll-out’s successes were starting to trickle in — when Republicans finally began revealing their true fears about it?
Rand Paul summed it up nicely:
“People get assumed and accustomed to receiving things, particularly things that they get for free.”
Or, to paraphrase: “We’re terrified people will like it, and then we’ll all look like idiots.”
After the roll-out, fully half the states in the U.S., all of them controlled by Tea-baiting GOP lawmakers refused federal funds to expand Medicaid in their states. A good move from a political demagogue’s point of view…maybe not so much for the people of those disproportionately impoverished states, who were left asking, “Why are we still dying because you won’t give us the medical care we’re legally due?”
Of course, those with any degree of reason knew that that wouldn’t last forever, especially considering the fact that most of the poorest states in the Union are controlled by the GOP. Arkansas and Iowa were among the first opt-out states to opt back in under pressure from the public, adopting modified “private option” plans that can utilize the Medicaid money offered by the Fed to pay for or subsidize private insurance.
Now, Tennessee is looking to join that group, among three other red states including Pennsylvania planning on doing the same.
As reported by The Tennessean, Republican governor, Bill Haslam, is in the process of submitting a plan to the HHS (formerly controlled by FEMA Death Marshall Kathleen Sebelius) to utilize Obamacare dollars in a manner similar to Arkansas and Iowa’s Private Option plans.
Evidently, the pressure from 150,000-plus poverty-stricken Tennesseans who need healthcare has proven slightly more powerful than the nonsensical screams of those Tea Partiers who put this guy into office.
Undoubtedly, this swing among Tennessee and GOP states like it is indicative of a larger trend, and you can bet it’ll be a feather in Obama’s cap. After all, there’s no better political tool than a willing defector. Fair enough. But for our part, we welcome Tennessee, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Iowa and states like them to the civilized world.*
*”Civilized world” obviously not including Florida, currently controlled by Medicaid scam artist and TeaLord Rick Scott.
h/t: Talking Points Memo