By Bill Maher
Can we step back and get a little perspective? Yes, millions of people are getting cancellation notices from private insurance companies, but very few will actually lose their health care. There are, however, five million Americans having health care coverage taken away, not by Obama, but by the Republican governors in their states.
The feds are expanding Medicaid in half the states, picking up 100 percent of the tab for the next three years, and 90 percent forever after that. But in the other half, Republican governors are denying this coverage, screwing over the working poor to advance their political careers. These are people who make slightly too much to qualify for the old Medicaid, but too little to be eligible for the federal exchange. According to the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, this includes over a million Texans, 764,000 in Florida, 409,000 in Georgia, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if the “liberal media” cared about these folks as much as the people in the individual market?
Also, in a relatively low-income district in Louisiana, there was a surprise upset in a special election where the Republican who campaigned supporting Medicaid expansion beat the Republican who campaigned to repeal Obamacare entirely. Lately all we hear is how Obamacare is going to finish Democrats, but so far, Terry McAuliffe supported Medicaid expansion in Virginia and won and this guy (Vince McAllister) supported it in an extremely conservative district in Louisiana and won.
When Ted Cruz shut down the government, he said Republicans had to take on Obamacare now, because once the subsidies kick in, people will be hooked. Perhaps the botched rollout changes that, or, more likely, he’s still right. So wouldn’t the smartest approach right now be for Republicans not to lay back, but to actively become the “Fix Obamacare” people? And not with legislation like the Upton Bill, which was just repeal in drag. I mean, actually do little things to make the bill better and more popular. I realize it’s a bit radical to suggest the Republican Party actually serve the public, but since Obamacare is going forward anyway, wouldn’t it behoove them politically and allow them to play both sides? When things go well, they can say, “Yeah, that’s because we bailed his ass out,” and when things go poorly, they can say, “Wasn’t our idea.”