The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently ran a story that left me banging my head on my desk.
“Let me tell you what we’re doing (about ObamaCare),” Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens bragged to a crowd of fellow Republicans in Floyd County earlier this month: “Everything in our power to be an obstructionist.”
After pausing to let applause roll over him, a grinning Hudgens went on to give an example of that obstructionist behavior, this one involving so-called “navigators” who are being hired to guide customers through the process of buying health insurance on marketplaces, or exchanges, set up under the federal program.
“We have passed a law that says that a navigator, which is a position in that exchange, has to be licensed by our Department of Insurance,” Hudgens said. “The ObamaCare law says that we cannot require them to be an insurance agent, so we said fine, we’ll just require them to be a licensed navigator. So we’re going to make up the test, and basically you take the insurance agent test, you erase the name, you write ‘navigator test’ on it.”
As the article points out, Georgia is not the only state where Republicans are in charge and are doing everything in their power to insure that people don’t get healthcare.
Think about that. No matter what your policy differences with the President, no matter what concerns you might have about the ACA’s approach, what sort of human being deliberately–indeed, gleefully–takes steps to insure that other people will continue to suffer?
How much do you have to hate the President that you are willing to let thousands of people go bankrupt and/or die if that’s what it takes to deny him a policy victory?
The Atlanta reporter asked the obvious questions:
Why would you take pride in making it harder for Georgians with pre-existing conditions to get the insurance coverage that had previously been denied to them, and that might save them from potential bankruptcy or even death? Why would you block the federal government from offering Medicaid coverage to more than 600,000 lower-income Georgia citizens, coverage that would allow them to compensate hospitals and doctors now forced to treat them for free? Why refuse to educate uninsured Georgians on the fact that they will soon be eligible for subsidies to help them pay for health insurance, as other states are doing?
I’d ask how low these people can go, but I’m afraid I’ll find out.