Obamacare's ruin: Where are the boastful press releases from Arkansas Republicans? | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Obamacare's ruin: Where are the boastful press releases from Arkansas Republicans?

Posted By on Sat, Dec 15, 2018 at 8:35 AM

Now that a judge in Texas has struck down the Affordable Care Act, you'd think in-boxes would be full of Republican politician press releases cheering the decision, particularly Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a proud participant in the lawsuit. Crickets so far though Rutledge did distribute a picture of herself partying with Donald and Melania Trump when the news broke. SEE UPDATE

The Affordable Care Act will continue in place while the case is appealed, we were assured by Trump's head of Medicare and Medicaid, Seema Verma. So no end to coverage of pre-existing conditions just yet. No end to the federal marketplace subsidies just yet. No end to extended family member coverage just yet.  No end to required coverage provisions (think birth control, for one). No end to the state-budget-inflating and community-hospital-saving Medicaid expansion. At least not just yet.

But c'mon guys. And by guys I mean Reps. French Hill, Steve Womack, Bruce Westerman and Rick Crawford and Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman. Where are the congratulatory news releases on a development you've encouraged for years by your votes and your political campaigns? Or better yet, where's a fix that authorizes the health insurance mandate and cleans up other obstacles the Republican Party has planted to universal health insurance coverage? It's the time of year for goodwill toward all, right? Poll after poll has said the American people are now solidly in favor of continuing the Affordable Care Act, which has dramatically redced the number of uninsured in America and preserved vital health services as a result.

Sen. Joyce Elliott offered a good idea for Arkansas legislators.

I did get a release from the American Medical Association.

“Today’s decision is an unfortunate step backward for our health system that is contrary to overwhelming public sentiment to preserve pre-existing condition protections and other policies that have extended health insurance coverage to millions of Americans,” said AMA president Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. “It will destabilize health insurance coverage by rolling back federal policy to 2009. No one wants to go back to the days of 20 percent of the population uninsured and fewer patient protections, but this decision will move us in that direction.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin ought to chime in, too. Huchinson's tax cut for millionaires depends on preserving the flow of Medicaid dollars to Arkansas. Griffin as a congressman shrieked louder than most about the evils of Obamacare. He should be happy now, right? And people like French Hill who insisted pre-existing conditions would be covered (and not just with meaningless expensive high-risk policies) ought to be rolling up their sleeves and getting this mess fixed.

Did the GOP really mean it when they said they wanted to protect people with pre-existing conditions?

Update: her partying done Rutledge weighs in with what has proved an empty promise from the GOP for years:

“Attorney General Leslie Rutledge  U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas for agreeing with Arkansas, as part of a 20-state coalition, that the Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate are unconstitutional.

“The ruling is a big win for Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Without the individual mandate in place, Obamacare cannot be upheld and is unconstitutional. Now, it is time for Congress to increase options, lower costs and protect those with pre-existing conditions."

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