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.