Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

You’d think it was the Twilight Zone. An elected official is advertising efforts to kill a widely popular expansion of health insurance coverage in the United States, an expansion that has provided 300,000 lower-income working Arkansans with health security.

But it’s true. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge continues her crusade with other state legal officers (Republican) to kill the Affordable Care Act, which expanded Medicaid, covered pre-existing conditions, expanded coverage of family members, required coverage of preventive health care and such essentials as birth control and otherwise made the U.S. a place where people might live longer thanks to availability of medical care.

Rutledge proudly announced Wednesday:

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced Arkansas joined Texas and 16 other states in a brief urging the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the decision that the Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate are unconstitutional.

 “Today, Arkansas is one step closer to upending this unconstitutional law,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The unconstitutional individual mandate was the backbone of this law and without it in place, Obamacare cannot be upheld. Congress must take action to increase health care options, lower costs and protect those with pre-existing conditions.”

But a Congress controlled by Republicans has demonstrated for years that it WON’T do that. It wants to kill any expansion of health coverage. It has offered no workable plan to replace it. The GOP doesn’t want it. Neither does Rutledge, even though if she wins this case it wrecks the Medicaid expansion in Arkansas, which helped 300,000 people, and also wrecks the transformational governor’s budget in the process.

When Rutledge started this crusade, simply saying “Obamacare bad” was a winning political strategy, particular when illustrated with a picture of a black man. The national opinion has turned. People are worried about health care and appreciate the benefits of Obamacare.


Leslie Rutledge has decided to continue to dance with what brung her and her Republican pals in the red wave that drowned Arkansas.

Maybe she’s right. No potential Republican challenger intends to get to the left of her, save maybe Sen. Jim Hendren, who’s been a pragmatic supporter of the Medicaid expansion thanks to Uncle Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s need for the money to provide a tax cut for millionaires. A Democrat might, one of those lefty, commie, Muslim- and immigrant-hugging you-know-what socialists.