Decisions, decisions

Let’s see: “Intense criticism” versus dead poor people. Decisions, decisions!

Of course, if we had a liberal Democrat in the White House, he probably wouldn’t have bought into the Republican strategy of attacking the deficit during a major recession. Even more to the point, he would have attacked the real root cause of the governors’ revenue shortfall: Their refusal to raise taxes on business and the wealthy.

But as I like to say, “If pigs had wings, they could fly.”

Faced with severe budget problems, Republican governors are escalating their fight against federal rules requiring states to maintain current levels of health-care coverage for the poor and disabled.

The growing resistance to the federal government over the hugely expensive Medicaid program poses a critical test for President Obama, who has the power to relax the rules for states.

If he allows states to tighten eligibility requirements, it would outrage many of his core supporters while undermining the central goal of his signature health-care law: expanding health insurance coverage. But if the president turns his back on governors struggling to gain control of their finances by trimming their most costly program, he risks intense criticism just as his administration is locked in a battle with Republicans over the nation’s soaring debt.

“There is a growing impatience among governors,” said Mike Schrimpf, communications director for the Republican Governors Association. “As the Medicaid portion of state budgets grows, the issue becomes even more pressing.

Let’s be honest. The real “issue” is that they’re afraid Grover Norquist, the Club for Growth and/or the Tea Party will fund primary challenges against them. And because the Republicans have allowed the extreme right wing to dictate their policies, they want the president to rescue them by allowing states to kill more poor people, Don’t kid yourself, that’s what happening here.

And any president who cooperates with this is not on our side.

5 thoughts on “Decisions, decisions

  1. I thought that the expansion of Medicaid by increasing the income limit was an important feature of the medical reform law. I guess if you increase it on one end (increasing enrollment) and shrink it on the other (cutting benefits) its all a wash.

    I don’t think the “core supporters” actually are going to be enraged at all since they are the big money people driving all of this in the first place.

  2. Pragmatic Realist raises in interesting point. Are Obama’s core supporters” people like us who wishfully assumed he would turn out to be a real Democrat, or are they merely a variation on the sort of people George W. Bush referred to as his base? We might think of ourselves as core supporters, but it’s unlikely Obama thinks of us at all.

  3. Let’s cut to the chase. Is there any reason to think that being involved in electoral politics will ‘affect’ the course of events? If not, does one acquiesce to the return of feudalism or more aggressively oppose it?

  4. As GWB said at some big dinner, “”This is an impressive crowd – the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base.”

  5. Ah! Obama does have Death Panels! They’re just not medically based — they’re Austerian based.

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