Southern Hospitality Part Two…

The story about Real PAC comes just after a story from last week that Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens admitting he is doing everything in his power to see that Obamacare fails in Georgia. The Medicaid expansion has been refused. A law passed in Georgia requires people hired to guide enrollees into the State exchanges have to be licensed by the state.

“We have passed a law that says that a navigator, which is a position in that exchange, has to be licensed by our Department of Insurance,” Hudgens said. “The ObamaCare law says that we cannot require them to be an insurance agent, so we said fine, we’ll just require them to be a licensed navigator. So we’re going to make up the test, and basically you take the insurance agent test, you erase the name, you write ‘navigator test’ on it.”

Hudgens clearly thought that was a pretty cute way for state officials to obstruct and delay implementation of the program and to ensure that it doesn’t work well for Georgians. Judging from their reaction, his audience thought so too. The question is why he thinks such steps are necessary….

But still, why would you take pride in making it harder for Georgians with pre-existing conditions to get the insurance coverage that had previously been denied to them, and that might save them from potential bankruptcy or even death? Why would you block the federal government from offering Medicaid coverage to more than 600,000 lower-income Georgia citizens, coverage that would allow them to compensate hospitals and doctors now forced to treat them for free? Why refuse to educate uninsured Georgians on the fact that they will soon be eligible for subsidies to help them pay for health insurance, as other states are doing?

The fear is obvious as well. By making opposition to ObamaCare the central organizing principle of the party in recent years, GOP leaders have taken an enormous gamble. Already in deep demographic trouble, they understand that even a marginally successful ObamaCare would knock the ideological underpinnings from the party as well. On the other hand, to the degree that ObamaCare is deemed a failure, they can claim vindication for that ideology.

There you have it, obstruction, Georgia style.