The governors from over half of the 50 states have or are considering refusing to establish Health Care Exchanges and participate in Medicaid as provided for by the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) cynically known as “Obamacare.” My assessment is that the consequences of this decision by Chief Elected Officer of these states is going to in actuality create a third-tier, low quality health care environment. Simply put, those states that offer to their residents full participation in the rights and privileges provided by the ACA, which is the law of the land, will develop in a few short years, into first-tier, high quality health care systems. The states that don’t, however, will within a similar number of years see their health care, both private and public, degenerate into a ghetto of medical inferiority.
Continuing from the Post Page…
I call it…The Gubernatorial Wall of Shame.
The states on The Gubernatorial Wall of Shame within a matter of years will face a series of negative consequences through denying their residents high quality public health programs, effective infection control programs through vaccinations from infants all the way to adults, and access to the very best medical care–either because the public will not be able to afford the cost–or–the best medical talent will refuse to practice medicine in the opt-out states because the pay is so poor.
On top of that, the opt-out states will find that they will have trouble recruiting new businesses that have a commitment to providing their employees high-quality health benefits. If the ACA doesn’t fully exist in that state, entrepreneurs won’t begin new businesses, let alone move, their operations there. And why should they? Only the most hard-core right-wing cynical ideologues would want to subject their employees to living in the medical equivalent of a third-world nation.
Thousands of their citizens will not be insured, not able to afford insurance offered by the so-called “free-market,” health care industry, which is undoubtedly salivating at the prospects of committing crimes against humanity they could only dream about under the disastrous pre-ACA health care system we have had here in the United States. Not only will the premiums skyrocket, but the health insurance, pharmaceutical, and medical equipment industries will find ways to exploit every possible loop-hole in its laws and regulations, knowing that they merely have to whisper the term “free-market” into the ear of any elected official and they will get no resistance from either the governor’s office or the state’s legislature.
The governors and legislators that refuse to accept the ACA will condemn their citizenry to the lowest possible practice of health care, especially affecting the poor, children, women and the medically most fragile to a tortured existence, all in the name of sustaining a failed health care system that is the laughing-stock of the Free World by those nations who long have made a commitment to their citizens that health care is an inalienable right. The states on the list may balance their budgets on the backs of their dwindling middle class, but with such inferior health care available (except for the wealthy who can afford to go to other states participating in the ACA for superior care), the residents overall health will be too compromised to “enjoy” the fruits of their government’s austere approach to fiscal conservatism.
Here is the Gubernatorial Wall of Shame, the list of those Governors who have elevated ideology to idiocy (in my humble opinion) above the health and well-being of the very citizens they are sworn to protect (in no particular order).
The Gubernatorial Wall of Shame
- Gov. Mary Fallin, Oklahoma, Republican
- Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin, Republican,
- Gov. Paul LaPage, Maine, Republican
- Gov. Rick Perry, Texas, Republican
- Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana, Republican
- Gov. John Kasich, Ohio, Republican
- Gov. Robert Bentley, Alabama, Republican
- Gov. John Heineman, Nebraska, Republican
- Gov. Sean Parnell, Alaska, Republican
- Gov. Phil Bryant, Mississippi, Republican
- Gov.. Nathan Deal, Georgia, Republican
- Gov Nikki Haley, South Carolina, Republican
Governors reportedly still making up their minds (a euphemism for what’s politically most expedient or advantageous to my next campaign):
- Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Idaho, Republican
- Gov. Rick Scott, Florida, Republican
- Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey, Republican
- Gov. Jan Brewer, Arizona, Republican
“Uncommitted” governors, but leaning toward opting out (perhaps polling their base for the odds of being recalled if they opt in):
- Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado, Democrat
- Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana, Republican
- Gov. Sam Brownback, Kansas, Republican
- Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan, Republican
- Gov. Jay Nixon, Missouri, Democrat
- Gov. Brian Schweizter, Montana, Democrat
- Gov. Beverly Purdue, North Carolina, Democrat
- Gov. Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota, Republican
- Gov.Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania, Republican
- Gov. Dennis Daugaard, South Dakota, Republican
- Gov. Bill Haslam,Tennessee, Republican
- Gov. Gary Herbert, Utah, Republican
- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, West Virginia, Republicam
- Gov. Matt Mead, Wyoming, Republican
Of the thirty governors listed here (and this number will change over time, so consider this list a snapshot as of this writing), 26 are Republicans. It may be instructive to note that of those 26, eight of them were Blue states in the presidential election (CO, FL, ME, MI, NJ, OH, PA WI) plus the border states (TX and AZ). Very possibly their political fates may be influenced by the Rising American Electorate (RAE) that is the wave of the next generation who tend to be much more liberal and progressive on issues such as health care, as well as other key social issues that Red State elected officials have, as former presidential candidate Mitt Romney rather indelicately termed political “gifts”. The increasingly blue-politics of the RAE is likely to have a major impact in the next two elections, possibly eclipsing the Tea Party by their sheer numbers. Governors that place their stats on the health care Wall of Shame may find themselves out of a job and having no prospects for electability in any position above county commissioner in a shrinking number of “red” counties in their states.
The Affordable Care Act, as it is fixed and improved in the next decade, is the United States’ best option for a significantly healthier nation. On the off chance that some governor or aide reads this post, I would point you to the great incoming tide of the Rising American Electorate. They overwhelmingly support the ACA and it’s role in the coming generation of America. I urge you to look to the future of your state offered through the transformation of health care through the ACA; the failures of the past can no longer be sustained.