As Obamacare implementation draws nearer, watch for the gnashing of teeth by the Republicans to increase. They so want the program to fail that they are doing all they can to sabotage it. Right now, they’re running ads trying to scare women. And the legislature ordered money sent to promote the program returned to the feds.
And yesterday, Blue Cross and Blue Shield released its rate info for plans under the Affordable Care Act. While a howl went from the right on twitter bemoaning huge rate increases, in reality, 66% of premiums will stay the same or go down–and that’s before the subsidies come in to play for families making 400% above the poverty level. Once again, the GOP will play to their base, firing up the anti-government Obama haters, while the rest of the state essentially shrugs.
But in their zeal to derail the plan, the General Assembly may have seriously overplayed its hand. They rejected the Medicaid expansion which would have been paid for by the feds and denied 500,000 North Carolinians access to health care. Now, it turns out, their ploy is costing jobs and health care facilities in areas that are already hurting. According to the Greenville Daily Reflector, the Beaufort County town of Belhaven will lose it’s hospital and 100 people will lose their jobs because the state rejected the expansion. And this is a county that still suffers an unemployment rate of over 10%.
On the political side, I wonder how Sen. Bill Cook or Rep. Michael Speciale, who voted against the expansion, are going to explain to folks in Beaufort County that closing their hospital is actually good for them? Maybe they could get the Rural Center to help. Oh, yeah…
For all the criticism and drama, Obamacare is going to work. The Chicken Littles on the Republican side are already being proven wrong. And the greatest damage will be done, not by the Affordable Care Act, but by the Republican efforts to stop it.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >