March 22, 2013

#Obamacare, #Medicaid, Tricky Ricky Perry, and neoliberal blue stateism

Ron Brownstein has a good column at National Journal about how Tricky Ricky Perry could help turn Texas blue.

Well, first, let's take this with a grain of salt.

Dems haven't won a statewide election here since what, 1990, when Miss Ann was elected gov?

Second, depending on this to drive Texas blue is about as smart as depending on Hispanic numbers growth to do the same.

That said, the story notes that some GOPers on the House side of the Lege are still pushing for an Arkansas deal on the Medicaid expansion portion of Obamacare.
Last week, (GOP State Rep. John) Zerwas introduced legislation that would authorize state health officials to negotiate with the Obama administration to expand while delivering coverage for the newly eligible through new means. He likes the deal the administration is discussing with Arkansas, which could allow the state to use Medicaid expansion dollars to instead buy private insurance for its eligible adults, and he believes that approach could be “sellable to the governor.”
Yes, this would be better than nothing, but I generally DO NOT LIKE the Medicaid expansion of Obamacare being negotiated away so that states can do it all through private insurers. That said, since the non-Medicaid part of Obamacare is all through private insurers, are you surprised that Obama would agree to this?

And speaking the Texas Senate GOP harder line?
Key state Senate Republicans, though, are striking a harder line. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tommy Williams says he will support enlarging Medicaid only if Obama allows Texas to transform the way it delivers Medicaid, not only to the expansion population but also to the current recipients. “The existing program is not sustainable,” Williams says.

That’s a hardball position, but not necessarily disqualifying: The administration has reached an agreement in principle with Florida, for instance, to move more Medicaid recipients into private managed care. Many here, though, wonder if Perry would take any deal. The widespread belief is that he intends to seek the GOP presidential nomination again in 2016, and accepting more Medicaid money would smudge his image of Alamo-like resistance to Obama.
Obamacare through private insurers, including the Medicaid portion. The possibility of more of that on the non-Obamacare portion of Medicaid. Still no plan by Team Obama to submit a bill to end cost-ineffective Medicare Plus, Medicare's version of cost-ineffective private coverage. Obama pushing for free trade deals to benefit Big Pharma.

And, as part of the neolib snake oil, no federal department or bureau for insurance regulation.

That said, Brownstein notes that because many, many of the uninsured here in Tejas are Hispanic, this would be another gunshot-in-foot move by Perry in particular and the GOP in general.

And, Dems would get the pickings, even with not necessarily helping Hispanics that much. Hence, the last part of my header.

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