by Max Brantley
Obamacare is — for now — the law. And, reports the New York Times, even Republican-led states are quietly going about setting up the health exchanges to implement broader insurance coverage if the law takes effect as scheduled. These evil health exchanges are at the core of the Arkansas Republican and Koch-financed campaign to take over the Arkansas General Assembly.
Even Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer can read. Get a load of this Republican quote, which could have been issued by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe's press office:
“If we have to have one,” said Donald Hughes, Ms. Brewer’s health care policy adviser, “then it would be better for Arizona to do it ourselves rather than defer to the federal government.” He said, however, that Ms. Brewer would not make a final decision on a state-run exchange until after the election.
In all, 22 states led by Republicans are planning for the exchanges. This is considered a near-felonious act by Arkansas Republicans. According to their campaign mailings, approval of the state Insurance Department budget is a high crime because its employees are working on universal health coverage.
Sure, the GOP-led states won't implement the law if it is repealed. But a failure to plan for the law and maximize a state's ability to tailor a plan for its people is widely recognized, at least by many non-Arkansas Republicans, as short-sighted and potentially harmful to self-interest. Take heart all ye who stand in the hospital door to fight universal health care now and forever: With interest groups like the Kochs' AFP and Cato Institute lobbying mightily at your side, there is a chance the massive resistance movement can be fostered in other state legislatures as well.