by Max Brantley
With a tiny handful of exceptions, Republicans are hungering to provide the necessary one-fourth vote to block Medicaid expansion, block health care exchanges for people who can afford new government-aided insurance and block help for struggling hospitals. Rep. Nate Bell, one of the most reactionary of a reactionary GOP delegation, complained to the Democrat-Gazette that Democrats are trying to make Republicans look mean by emphasizing their opposition to expansion of help for Arkansas people.
“The governor wants to appear compassionate like ‘I want to help these folks.’ But really, it’s ‘I want to make the new Republican majority in the House look like hardhearted folks that don’t care about people,’” Bell said, adding that he expects the GOP to win a state House majority in November.
Back to facts, matters of little relevance to the Arkansas Republican Party.
Of all the things on which Republicans choose to take a stand, why is it health of their fellow Arkansans? The legislature could refuse federal dollars in support of the National Guard. That runs up the deficit, too. Or maybe it could find a way to block federal agriculture spending. That runs up the deficit, too. Education money? Same thing. Support for law enforcement? Another deficit builder.
No, the Republicans have a better idea. First, tax cuts for the wealthy. Talk about a deficit builder, as recent years illustrate. And then, before everything else, cut spending on sick working people and their children.