Gimme an “N,” Gov. Bentley might as well have hollered as he called the Affordable Care Act “a terrible, terrible piece of legislation.”
Gimme an “O,” he could have said as he boasted that the nation’s Republican governors could derail health-care reform if they stand firm.
What’s that spell?
No to the expansion of the Alabama’s Medicaid system.
No to the federal dollars that would pay for the vast majority of Medicaid expansion — 100 percent for the first three years and no more than one-tenth the cost in subsequents budgets.
No to a $1 billion boost to the state’s economy for expanding Medicaid, according to University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers.
No to an estimated 300,000 uninsured Alabamians who won’t get coverage under Obamacare as long as the Bentley administration has a say.
No to those 300,000 working men and women who are one medical emergency away from financial ruin.
No to the state’s hospitals that bear the burden of hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid hospital bills because the uninsured turn up in their ERs.
In short, no to progress, no to compassion and no to making an immediate impact on the lives of Alabamians living paycheck to paycheck.
“They won’t admit it in Washington, but they cannot do it if we don’t expand Medicaid, they cannot do it really if we don’t set up state-based exchanges,” the Gadsden Times quoted Bentley as saying Tuesday night at the annual meeting of the Etowah County Republican Party.
Don’t worry, Bentley adds, his administration is reforming Medicaid.
If you are uninsured, all you have to do is just not get sick until it’s all fixed.
Should be no problem, right?