It's outrageous that Republican-controlled states are doing everything they can to thwart implementation of the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. Many of these are Southern states with a large number of poor and minority residents.
The New York Times has noted that many residents of red states are getting royally screwed because their elected officials refuse to participate. As I previously noted in the link to that article, two-thirds of poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of low-wage workers who don’t have insurance are being left in the cold.
Scott Maxwell in the Orlando Sentinel has it right about the shameful behavior of Republican Florida legislators who are rejecting $51 billion in federal dollars that would help the needy in their state. Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford said he was "proud" to reject expansion of Medicaid. To do a little PR on their ill-begotten behavior, lawmakers increased the cost of their own benefits, instead of doing what they should have done: take the free money offered by the federal government to provide benefits for all. Miley Cyrus is currently making better decisions than these people. Even presidential chest-poker Jan Brewer, Arizona's governor, is taking the dough, saying, "It's pro-life, it's saving lives, it is creating jobs, it is saving hospitals."
Republican states have purposely and vindictively put up roadblocks to prevent its citizens from easy access to health care information as the Affordable Care Act was rolled out. They've either ignored the roll-out or encouraged people not to sign up. Missouri's lieutenant governor Peter Kinder, urged "active resistance" to the new law. This is why we have low information voters and why, according to two polls, 7% or 8% favor the Affordable Care Act over Obamacare, even though they are one and the same.
Rachel Grob, Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has studied how different states are handling the law's implementation and says, “Without the shared planning and the cooperation of the state government, it’s much harder for them to be ready to implement this complicated law.” Conservatives usually clamor for more local control, and yet many conservative-run states have ceded the running of exchanges to the federal government because of their unreasonable antipathy to the new law and to the president.
As childish and petulant as House Republicans are behaving, the actions of these Republican state legislators is even worse, as they have the power to immediately improve millions of lives, but are stuck in their ideology and hatred. But shame on all of them for destroying what was once known as the "Grand Old Party."
Alan Colmes joined FOX News Channel in 1996. He served as the liberal counterpart and co-host of "Hannity & Colmes," a one-hour debate-driven talk show focusing on controversial newsmakers and issues of the day.