If the legislature approves Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s amended extension of the Obamacare-enabled Medicaid expansion by less than 75 percent vote in either or both houses of the legislature, it will be time to talk in earnest about the consequences.
Come next week, at the fiscal session, proceedings will begin under the normal assumption that passing the legislation that pays for the Medicaid expansion will require a three-fourths vote. An alternative ground-breaking theory would certainly face a court test so it wouldn’t be an immediate solution.
To date, vote counters report an absence of the 75 percent margin in both the House and Senate. The governor is wheeling and dealing madly on this and on his hopes to save money through turning Medicaid for the mentally ill and disabled over to a managed care company. That hasn’t gone well either.
So: Isn’t it time for the governor to put together the fact sheet on the cataclysm that awaits if we don’t continue Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion? It’s about a whole lot more than the 267,000 working poor and others who’d lose health insurance (and in some cases, then die).
It’s about every single facet of state government, which includes jobs for political hacks, corporate welfare, public safety, smooth roads and a lots of things even honest, god-fearing, hard-working Republicans hold dear.