By Bill Maher
The politicians who run Arkansas had a problem: They wanted to get their hands on all the free Obamabucks they had coming to them under Obamacare so they could expand health-care coverage to the poor. Which in Arkansas is pretty much everybody. But they just hated that the money would go to Medicaid, which as we all know is a stalking horse for Communism.
So they met with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and convinced her that she should give them their full allotment of Obamabucks, but instead of using the cash to provide Medicaid coverage, they’d use it to buy private insurance on the open market. Which will be less efficient and cost a lot more money. But this way, the wingnuts can plausibly claim in their campaign ads that they expanded medical coverage without expanding Medicaid.
Obviously, in the short term this is great for people in Arkansas who would otherwise not have insurance.
But if we're just going to take federal money and hand it over to private insurance companies, than how exactly is this health care reform?
If you want to be really cynical, which I do, you could see this as the first step in the privatization of Medicare/Medicaid. What exactly was the point of the 18 months we spent haggling over health-care reform if any half-ass governor can get a "waiver" to spend the money any way they see fit?
What's to stop Bobby Jindal from taking his share of Obamabucks and using it to buy leeches and Ouija boards?