Back in September of last year:
MONTGOMERY, Alabama --- Gov. Robert Bentley reiterated his stance against Obamacare today but also said he thought it was a mistake for Republicans in Congress to pursue a government shutdown.Tomorrow is primary day in Alabama and ... below the fold:
The governor, speaking about the Affordable Care Act in response to questions from reporters, said the law is unworkable and said the best approach is to “sit back and watch it crumble,” rather than risk a public backlash.
“I don’t believe we need to shut down government,” Bentley said. “I’m not being critical of our congressmen. I know they are trying to take a stand. But we don’t need to turn the tide of public opinion against us.”
.... Bentley opposes expanding Alabama’s Medicaid program to cover more people, an option for states under the Affordable Care Act.
Alabama residents protested in front of the Capitol on Saturday to demand that Gov. Robert Bentley (R) expand the state’s Medicaid program. The move would provide health insurance coverage to 200,000 low-income residents who fall into a coverage gap in the Affordable Care Act.
More than 40 organizations under the umbrella group Save OurSelves: A Movement for Justice and Democracy, or SOS “presented 13,653 signatures to the Capitol doorstep in a coffin carried by six pallbearers,” the Montgomery Advertiser reports. Individuals told personal stories of waiting years to access coverage, with some eventually dying from lack of health care. A recent study conducted by Harvard researchers estimated that as many as 17,000 people will die directly as a result of their states refusing to expand Medicaid.That's just fine, but there's a little problem with the Death Panel on the Supreme Court which gave states like Alabama the right to opt out of the Affordable Care Act:
“It’s really not about Republican or Democrat, it’s not about Washington D.C.,” organizer Sophia Bracy-Harris said. “The people who are here today are putting a face on who the 300,000 people are. They’re people, they are our neighbors, they are our family, and working people in this state.” A spokesperson for Bentley said that the governor still opposes growing the Medicaid program and is instead considering options for reforming it.
If Alabama were to accept Medicaid expansion, the federal government would provide $1 billion in funding, while the state would have to kick in $700 million by 2020. A study from University of Alabama at Birmingham has found that the additional federal spending would generate more than $1.7 billion in new tax revenue and create 24,613 to 51,918 new jobs.
The Supreme Court’s decision to allow states to opt out of Medicaid expansion will have adverse health and financial consequences. Based on recent data from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, we predict that many low-income women will forego recommended breast and cervical cancer screening; diabetics will forego medications, and all low-income adults will face a greater likelihood of depression, catastrophic medical expenses, and death. Disparities in access to care based on state of residence will increase. Because the federal government will pay 100 percent of increased costs associated with Medicaid expansion for the first three years (and 90 percent thereafter), opt-out states are also turning down billions of dollars of potential revenue, which might strengthen their local economy.Alabamans aren't too happy with Mr Governor Bentley:
Save OurSelves: A Movement for Justice and Demoncracy, or SOS, made up of 40 organizations and faith-based ministries, presented more than 13,653 signatures to the Capitol doorstep in a coffin carried by six pallbearers.I'll allow the Guv to have the last word:
The symbolism was not lost on Callie Greer from Montgomery, who lost her daughter to breast cancer after they both attended last year's rally together.
"You take them off that and put them on an entitlement program, you will never get them off an entitlement program,” Bentley said. “The nearest thing to eternal life on this earth is an entitlement program.”Do tell, Guv. Is there any way we can get entitlement war contractors off the government teat?