by Max Brantley
Add this wrinkle: Fans of the senator from ALEC, extreme-right Republican Sen. Missy Irvin of Mountain View, have started a Draft Irvin Twitter feed to encourage her gubernatorial candidacy in 2014. She's a dynamic campaigner and hard worker, but her questioning yesterday in a legislative committee (behind D-G paywall) on Medicaid options revealed the same sort of wishful thinking that has marked Republican "thinking" throughout the health care debate. Irvin really asked whether anyone had given a thought to the economic impact of nursing home care reduction. Indeed, one wonders if Republicans have given a thought to the $700 million in annual economic stimulus they want to reject in the form of expanded Medicaid services that, in addition to helping sick people, employ thousands of workers across the spectrum of health care and service industries.
It was to laugh to read the headline that suggested Irvin and other Republicans don't think it's fair they should be blamed for cuts in nursing home care required by their failure to accept expanded federal medical dollars. Surely there's something else that can be cut, she plaintively asked. Surely. Problem is, neither she nor any Republican has yet offered an efficient, legal and specific alternative spending cut plan if Level 3 nursing home care is not the source of spending reductions.
Can Republicans have it both ways? Refuse federal money, preside over cuts in vital services and blame it on the Democrats? It would not be the first time.