GOP governors bite the hand that feeds them Obamacare grants

Posted on February 23, 2011


We’ve all heard the GOP talking points about the dangers and flaws of “Obamacare.”  Republicans, Fox News and the Tea Party have gone to extraordinary lengths to tell us that it’s “evil,” and it’s “Nazi Communism,” and it’s “Fascist Socialism,” it’s unconstitutional, it’s “Marxist redistribution of wealth” and – my favorite – it’s “designed to kill your grandmother.”

Well, if Republicans are so dead-certain that Obamacare is so awful, then why did nine newly elected Republican state governors take possession of more than $40 Million in Obamacare grants today?

The Obama administration on Tuesday issued more than $45 million in new grants to various states for the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare). The Department of Health and Human Services issued the grants as part of the Money Follows the Person program, a component of Obamacare that encourages states to transition individuals from nursing homes or a separate institution into community-based programs.

Many of these new governors have made no bones about openly displaying their hostility toward not only the Obamacare law, but toward the President himself. Just what are the comments of these governors about Obamacare?

  • Florida Governor and former health care industry executive Rick Scott – who settled out-of-court for $1.7 Billion against charges that he was personally involved in the 1997 Columbia/HCA fraud, and has been indicted on multiple counts of Medicare fraud in 2009 with the case still pending – called Obamacare “one of the biggest job-killers in the country.” Scott is one of the banner-carriers in the unconstitutionality claims against Obamacare and said the law is “an overreach by the federal government and I’m hopeful that the courts will recognize this and put an end to this travesty.” Today, Scott accepted $4,203,999 in Obamacare grant money.
  • Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said that “Unless you’re in favor of a fully nationalized health-care system, the president’s health-care reform law is a massive mistake.” Today, Otter accepted $695,206 in Obamacare grant money.
  • Maine Governor Paul R. LePage said, “All claims made for Obamacare were false. It will add trillions to the federal deficit. And it will lead to a defacto government takeover of health care faster than most people realize.” Today, LePage accepted $699,970 in Obamacare grant money.
  • Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, an undecided potential 2012 presidential candidate, has challenged health care’s constitutionality. In September, Pawlenty ordered all state agencies not to apply for federal money attached to the six-month-old Obamacare reform legislation, saying that Obamacare “will literally turn America’s government into a bunch of drug dealers offering free tastes to clients in order to get them hooked.” Today, Pawlenty accepted $13,421,736 in Obamacare grant money.
  • Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, the former tobacco industry lobbyist indicted for arranging the start-up financing for a GOP telemarketing company implicated in two criminal cases involving election fraud, is also a potential 2012 candidate. Barbour called Obamacare “catastrophic,” and said Obamacare “would lead to an outcome not unlike the infamous 1978 Jonestown mass suicide.” Today, Barbour accepted $1,341,394 in Obamacare grant money.
  • Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said, “Obamacare, in its current form, threatens to destroy our budgets and perpetuate and magnify the most costly aspects of our health care system.” Today, Sandoval accepted $800,000 in Obamacare grant money.
  • New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez said Obamacare is “a huge burden for our state, and yet another incremental expenditure the law’s authors declined to account for truthfully.” Today, Martinez accepted $595,839 Obamacare grant money.
  • Former Republican and now Independent Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee’s position is that “Obamacare will impose a catastrophically expensive expansion of Medicaid dependency on states, and such increased welfare dependency will also prove costly to states.” Today, Chafee accepted $2,503,021 in Obamacare grant money.
  • Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam called U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson’s unconstitutionality ruling against Obamacare “a crucial step in our fight against President Obama’s unaffordable healthcare mandate,” and officially declared Obamacare to be “an intolerable expansion of federal power.” Today, Haslam accepted $2,357,733 in Obamacare grant money.

As we all know from these and other posturing Republicans, Obamacare is just one gigantic evil liberal plot! Except, of course, when they are accepting MONEY from Obamacare. Then it’s “just good, conscientious, responsible government helping Americans in need.”

I have friends and family who cannot fathom how or why I will not be a member of the Republican Party (or Democrat Party, for that matter). Well, since we’re talking about a “Marxist plot,” allow me to paraphrase the late, great Groucho Marx to explain: I could never belong to any political party that has a bunch of evil, Nazi, Communist, Fascist, Socialist, unconstitutional, redistributed wealth-taking, grandmother-killing governors as members.

And that’s not a secret word.