On Medicaid Expansion and the ‘Wacko Caucus’

Frank Cagle opines in favor of Medicaid expansion in his weekly column… interestingly, just as Florida Gov. Rick Scott has done an remarkable reversal to support expansion over objections of many Republican legislators there.
An excerpt from Cagle:
House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, with help from some good committee chairs, have much to be proud of in recent years. They cut taxes and still balanced the budget. The state is on an even keel while many other states are reeling from tax increases, budget deficits, and out-of-control pensions.
Unfortunately, the hard work by Republican leaders is often overshadowed by state and national coverage of the Wacko Caucus, a small group determined to embarrass themselves and their colleagues.
But there are some issues coming along this session that will be a real test on whether the Republican majority can govern responsibly or whether a minority of loud members will be allowed to rule. It will also be a test to see if Gov. Bill Haslam will have the courage to step up.
The major issue is whether the state will accept hundreds of millions of dollars in new Medicaid funds so that the working poor can pay medical bills and the hospitals will get a much-needed infusion of cash.
…Yes, the increase in Medicaid money is part of the Affordable Care Act. Yes, it is what Republicans call Obamacare. And yes, I understand that Republican legislators hate President Obama. There is even the idea among Republican legislators and governors around the country that if enough of them refuse to participate, Obamacare will collapse.
…If Haslam, Harwell, and Ramsey allow the anti-Obama animus to reject these funds, then you can thank them the next time your Blue Cross premium goes up because you are continuing to subsidize the medical bills of the people who can’t pay.
It’s time for the Republicans to demonstrate that they can govern responsibly instead of reverting to rabble-rousing backbenchers who have nothing to lose. Unlike the previous decades, what you do now has consequences

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