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Cartoon villain
A close approximation to
Gov. Nathan Deal
This is pretty despicable, even for a Republican.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) has the power to follow several other GOP governors’ lead and negotiate an alternative to the Affordable Care Act’s optional Medicaid expansion—a provision that would extend basic health benefits to more than 600,000 of the poorest Georgians—with the Obama administration. Instead, Deal’s administration is pushing a GOP-sponsored state bill that would take the matter out of the executive branch’s hands and require lawmakers to give legislative approval to any Medicaid expansion plan.

Deal has always been open about his support for the proposed bill, HB 990. But emails obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution under Georgia’s Open Records Act show that Deal’s staff actually helped write and even strengthen the legislation.

Lest you think that maybe this means the legislature will actually work on Medicaid expansion, don't. The bill creates more hurdles to current and future efforts to accept the expansion. It gives Deal cover—he can just point to the legislature as having total responsibility for approving the expansion. And should state Sen. Jason Carter prevail in his challenge to Deal, he'd be hamstrung by this law in accepting the expansion.

All of this is happening against the backdrop of Georgia hospitals having to shut their doors because of lack of funding through Medicaid. One of the state's larger employers, The Medical Center of Central Georgia, is going to lose $113 million in federal funds, funding cuts that were supposed to have been offset by Medicaid expansion under the law, until the Supreme Court made the expansion optional.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 02:30 PM PST.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He's a bad Deal. nt (4+ / 0-)

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 02:54:46 PM PST

  •  Why don't they put in a requirement for a (5+ / 0-)

    supermajority while they're at it - say, 99.9999999999999999999999% of all adult Georgians must vote for the Medicaid expansion in a special election where they sign the ballots in their own blood, standing on their heads, using their off-hands?

    Purity is for primaries; in the general, our worst are better than their best.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 03:03:48 PM PST

  •  Can't he be sued for malpractice? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976, blue aardvark

    Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome. uid:21352

    by pucklady on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 03:11:44 PM PST

  •  sounds like he's anticipating... (12+ / 0-)

    a loss to Jason Carter.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 03:15:00 PM PST

  •  I keep thinking that someday (13+ / 0-)

    the voters of Georgia will finally realize that the GOP is not looking out for their best interests.

    But when I overhear snippets of conversation about politics, it's still God, gays, and guns. And freedom and liberty against Kenyan tyranny.

    We have an opportunity in the November elections, with two strong Democratic candidates. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

    I did tell one of my neighbors to put my face on Obamacare. When my congressman talks about repealing the ACA, he's coming after my insurance.

  •  This bill will hamstring ALL future AND current (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    lawmakers if passed.  

    It should be noted that the Ga assembly only convenes 40 days...

    Sneaky lil debils snuck this in the day after the snowstorm.

    Tonight I happened to pass by tv showing local news with some idgit talking about presenting a bill mirroring Arizona's newest travesty regarding religion & the right for a business to refuse services.................!

    I cannot believe these beings-I swear they have all become hatefully unhinged.  

    Or they are working together in a concerted effort-one state at a time.

    I feel like I fell down some rabbit hole.  

    Strange days.  

  •  How does he propose to (0+ / 0-)

    fund his state with Federal money paid in by others so his own residents, well, his own businesses, can get the bennies without parting with money, if he does stuff like this.?

  •  Sorry to say, I don't oppose this. (4+ / 0-)

    Obviously, the state of Georgia are fools--cruel fools--not to expand Medicaid.

    But the legislature are elected by the people. As a matter of democratic (small-d) accountability, it's hard to see why the legislature shouldn't take responsibility for policy matters, especially funding matters. (Yes, I know it's 100% federal funding for the first 3 years, but the state would bear 10% after that.)

    That's the problem with democracy. "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:31:04 AM PST

    •  I'm glad you made this important point. (4+ / 0-)

      If anything Deal is doing progressives a favor by pointing out to voters that they need both elected branches to be on their side rather than the divided-government nonsense that Very Serious People continue to peddle.  And that's not even your point, which is even more elementary: of course the legislature should be a required approver of any state spending.

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:48:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where are the hospital associations in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tekno2600, marty marty, Aquarius40

    these states? Someone in the industry must be lobbying these lawmakers asking them not to be fools.

  •  Because why do bad, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foresterbob, tekno2600, Aquarius40, AnnieR

    when you can do evil.

    Marx was an optimist.

    by psnyder on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:58:12 PM PST

  •  If red states hate to accept Federal funding (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not, Aquarius40

    for Medicaid, they should also be loathe to accept any Federal funding at all...yet the minute something happens in their a wildfire, hurricane, flood or any other natural or manmade disaster...they go running to their rich Uncle Sam for a handout.  

    I don't think that the Federal taxes that the government receives from these dirt-poor red states is enough to compensate taxpayers in the rest of the country for what is spent trying to pull them out of stupidity and poverty, so maybe they should make a deal with the Federal government to not pay any Federal taxes in return for not receiving a penny in Federal assistance.  Let them raise the money they need through state taxes...give 'em their "state's rights" and see how long it lasts before the neocons are kicked out of office.

  •  Why were states given the veto in this matter? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tekno2600, yoduuuh do or do not

    Did that make any sense at all?  Are local circumstances such that in SD people have a different need for medical coverage than in NY?  Was there ever any legitimate reason to make participation in Medicaid expansion a matter of state discretion?  Was there ever any place that discretion was going to lead but to the Rs abusing that discretion?  Would anybody in either party ever use that discretion for any other purpose than such criminal mischief?

    I'm done blaming Rs for any and all misbehavior that they can only engage in because Ds made it possible by writing the rules to give them free rein.  How about this handy guide to all future legislation our side passes, should the Union prove to have any future: no state discretion, no power of the states to interfere, or block, or even just implement a program differently, that isn't dictated by the absolute need to allow local variation because local conditions and circumstances are decisively different across the nation.  That doesn't even begin to be true for the need for medical coverage, so there should never have been any allowance for the red states to misbehave in this matter.

    Oh, and please don't tell me they had to put in state opt out to make it politically possible for Blue Dogs to vote for the ACA.  Blue dogs have been the absolutely most vulnerable to the mischief the Rs can make by creating opt out crises.  All involved just gave in to lazy, sloppy, self-indulgent thinking when they let reform be weakened by such provisions.  "Make the ACA more toothless and maybe the Rs won't beat us up so badly in districts where we're vulnerable, because we'll have given them half of what they want by making it toothless!"  That thinking never made any sense, that was always the exact opposite of common sense, and the empirical evidence that Rs aren't nearly so interested in any particular public policy outcome as they are in beating up Ds.  The ACA was their public policy solution to the health insurance crisis!  The fact that we could get none of them to vote for it would have told people with any sort of awareness of politics that they were treating reform as a blunt instrument of political attack, not as public policy.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:38:42 PM PST

    •  It's John Robert's activist Supreme Court that (4+ / 0-)

      literally rewrote the law by allowing states to opt out of the Medicare expansion. The law was specifically designed with the assumption that they could not simply opt out.

      Many of the Bluedogs who weakened the ACA are already gone. So, it's moot now. The key point is that when we get a Democratic majority in the future, it needs to be both Houses plus President and we need to make sure that no Bluedogs sneak in.

      Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

      by tekno2600 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:29:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who let SCOTUS acquire a Federalist Society... (0+ / 0-)

        ...majority?  Who designed the ACA to only take effect years after it was passed, so that judicial review would happen after we had potentially lost the Congressional majority needed to fix whatever damage a Fed Society SCOTUS could do to it?

        And who decided to make the part of the ACA that addressed getting care for people who couldn't afford any insurance, an enhanced Medicaid, which, as a shared federal-state program, was inherently vulnerable to being taken apart on judicial review?  Why not just have 100% subsidized insurance for those people?

        The starkest way to look at this is from the perspective that Medicare for All, besides being better public policy, would have been infinitely better politics -- much, much easier to defend from Rs contesting elections and Rs in SCOTUS deciding legal challenges.  Medicare for All could have been designed to go into effect the hour the law was passed, because employed people in this country, and almost every provider of medical services, were already signed up for Old Coke Medicare.  There would have been zero new legal issues that the Fed Society junta on SCOTUS could have fixed on to cause trouble. Had they decided to make trouble anyway, we would still have had the Congressional majority needed to take jurisdiction away from them.  The private health insurance industry would have been dead as a doornail politically, completely incapable of being brought back from the dead, before the 2010 election.  Medicare for All would have been popular with elderly voters, because they could feel secure that their interests were not threatened by a rival program to old Medicare.

        But all that would have been way too easy.  We went instead for a plan that threw away every political advantage of starting a new program, and invited every political disadvantage of starting a new program, all to curry favor, or at least less hostility, from Rs who didn't care at all about the public policy, but only cared about exploiting political advantage.

        The states must be abolished.

        by gtomkins on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:27:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nathan Deal's first name should be Raw. I'm sure (4+ / 0-)

    that's not a new joke.

    But, seriously, shouldn't he be tying women to railroad tracks instead of messing with the ACA? Where are his villain priorities?

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:21:54 PM PST

  •  Emergency Care Threatened As Well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks Joan.

    Yesterday there were whispers as well that access to emergency care / emergency rooms would be limited as well.  (  The gist is that some feel too many people are clogging the emergency rooms without actually having an emergency.

    There are many things that can be said about this, among them that it is just plain cruel to not accept medicaid expansion, close hospitals, and then tell people they cannot even see a doctor in an emergency room because the doorman determined you are not actually having an emergency.

    But I am amazed that none of our local Very Important People have mentioned yet how many times in 2012 access to emergency rooms was a perfectly viable alternative to ACA.

  •  The Republicans in this state are (0+ / 0-)

    turning us into a third world country.  And the voters think this is a good thing, apparently, because they keep putting these assholes in office.

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:13:17 AM PST

  •  Well Earned (0+ / 0-)

    The citizens of Georgia deserve the Republican Party.

  •  Keep Snidely Whiplash out of this (0+ / 0-)

    He's cool.  He's the first guy to do BDSM scenes on a nationally syndicated children's cartoon.  (It helps that the 1959-era censors had no idea what this was.)  And he's part of The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

    And nobody ever accused Whiplash of trying to defund Canadian Medicare.  In fact, when he wasn't busy with Dudley Do-Right's GF, he tended to direct some portion of his criminality against entrenched economic interests.

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