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23 January 2014

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Tyler

My understanding is that the newly elected AG (who won by 100 votes or so) has decided that the law against gay 'marriage' is unconstitutional and will no longer defend it.

And this is how a nation splinters apart. The homosexual lobby demands by force what it was denied at the ballot box, but this is the way the Left works. Not too much sunlight between them and the Salafists, just at the other end of the spectrum.

William R. Cumming

PL! Perhaps wrong but I think the Libertarian candidate a major factor in the election outcome. As you often state Virginia is a largely conservative state. Voter turnout quite impressive though.

The Twisted Genius

The General Assembly is trying to come up with a plan to expand Medicaid without calling it Medicaid expansion. A lot of Virginia hospitals stand to be put in severe financial straits without it. They will lose some federal aid that partially compensates them for providing emergency medical care to all comers and will lose more due to lower Medicare reimbursements. Expanded Medicaid would probably offset this. I think this General Assembly will come up with some kind of solution. McCauliffe's call for authority to implement Medicaid expansion is just his part to play in this political kabuki. If he seriously thinks the General Assembly will grant him this authority, he is delusional.

McDonnell's wife is a piece of work, isn't she? I think McDonnell's defense is going to be based on throwing his wife under the bus. At his news conference, he continuously said he did nothing wrong rather than we did nothing wrong... even with his codefendant wife standing next to him.

turcopolier

TTG
"If he seriously thinks the General Assembly will grant him this authority, he is delusional." Yes, he is. The GA wants to deal with problems of the sort you mention but will not give McCauliffe an inch in any way that helps him personally. pl

Tyler

Its funny here because in Arizona, we have something of the same problem. Brewer wants the Medicaid expansion, but the State Assembly is asking "who the hell pays for it after the government turns off the tap?"

Same question applies here.

You know, for all the talk about the "War on Drugs" being a boondoggle, I'd say that the "War on Poverty" has it beat but we just can't stop growing these idiotic social programs no matter what.

Bill H

I believe he has actually gone beyond "not defending" it and has actually joined the plaintiffs in attacking it. One news item says that "he asked a federal court to overturn" the law and another quotes him as saying he "will support gay couples who challenge" the law.

In a like situation in California the Attorney General and Governor declined to defend the ban on gay marriage passed by popular vote, and the court allowed a third party to step in and do so. The law was overturned and that decision was upheld in the Supreme Court, so gay marriage is now legal in California. It seems unlikely that Virginia would run a different course.

Stephen Jones

Separate and apart from the odious McAuliffe and the contempt with which he is viewed by many on both the political 'right' and the actual 'left', I'm curious what the central position is amongst Virginia conservatives that argues against the expansion of the Medicaid program.

turcopolier

Stephan Jones

That's a good question. I am quite conservative but don't have a problem with socialized medicine. I have been a beneficiary of it all my life. I think maybe this has to do with a general resistance to intrusive federal assertions of power. This has been Virginia attitude all the way back to the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions written respectively by Madison and Jefferson. pl

The Twisted Genius

Stephen Jones,

The argument I hear most often is that expanded Medicare will cost Virginia more than it can afford (or cares to pay) once 100% federal reimbursement stops. That is a reasonable concern and is worthy of debate.

I also think the Republican resistance is largely based on a visceral opposition to all things Obama. That's been a stated goal of many Republicans since Obama became president. Of course that's no crazier than liberal Democrat support for NSA's mass surveillance programs simply because Obama is now supporting it. Loyalty and obedience to the party, any party, is a pox on this country.

Dr. K

Bush II won 5-4 and called it a mandate. The neo-cons got what they wanted and we got 4,000 dead in Iraq and 4 trillion in bills.

Stephanie

Republican governors like Brewer and John Kasich realize that the Medicare expansion is a very good deal for the states. Under the ACA, the federal government pays the entire cost of Medicaid expansion for three years and 90 percent after that. The modest upticks in state costs that arise that will be at least partly offset by savings in costs related to health care services for the uninsured. I'm afraid the resistance by others is chiefly political - they can't accept such a major benefit from a law that's become their party's chief target. And the governors' interests and that of Republican legislators don't necessarily coincide. The sad part is that the governors who refuse the expansion are hurting their own most vulnerable citizens for not very honorable reasons. Several of these governors have presidential ambitions and the refuseniks are likely thinking of Republican primary voters.

Bill H

Re your second paragraph: a worthy thought, well expressed. This is a point of view too seldom voiced.

Stephen Jones

Colonel and TTG,

Thanks for the thoughtful replies.I'm struck by what you say Colonel about being quite conservative yet having no problem with socialized medicine. It has long seemed to me that socialized medicine, especially if/when the architecture of such a system is built and effectively implemented across a national, united landscape, is in actuality a pretty basic conservative idea; not 'conservative' according to the meaning of that word as commonly understood in the current political zeitgeist, but conservative in the sense of traditional, cautious, well-planned and non-risky,anchored in verifiable reality.

I would not be surprise to discover that actual practical conservatives and actual practical liberals, (not to be confused with the vast sea of ignorati for whom the terms 'liberal', progressive', or 'conservative' are little more than tribal markers to rally around and voice support for candidates and policies they barely understand), were very closely aligned on the idea of this sort of social infrastructure as being bemeficial if only the details of how to make it workable couldbe devised without the special interest gangs and the saboteurs and their pet pols screwing it all up.

Fred

TTG,

Virginia, being less callous towards its citizens, is actually considering those long term costs. I think a number of Norther states, to include the one I live in, see those cost differently as they expect to 'export' a large part of the Medicare obligation to other states once those entitled seniors retire. Why else are we so gung-ho in cutting pension benefits for our own retirees? They will very soon be 'other peoples problems'.

Fred

Stephanie,

What happens in year 7,8,9, ten or even year fifty when the federal government no longer pays 90% of the cost? WIll that obligation cease? This is the same rationale that was used to sell the people of Florida on the state lottery. All the proceeds would go to 'education'. Of course nothing prevented the state legislature from cutting the education budget by the same amount that the lottery raised. Florida wasn't the only state in which that bait n switch stunt was pulled.

Alba Etie

Tyler
Gee I don't know - last time I checked the Log Cabin Republicans weren't trying to cut anyone 's head off on YouTube .

Tyler

Yeah I'm a real fan of Bush II.

Tyler

No, the homo lobby only figuratively demands your head if you speak out against it.

Stephanie

Fred, one way or another the states have to pay costs for their neediest. This is one way to do it that helps people immediately at very little expense to the states and there is no special reason to believe a budget apocalypse will hit in a hypothetical "year fifty." Which is why Republican governors are breaking ranks. (Kasich, I think, feels a genuine obligation to the citizens of his state, which may not help him much in any future GOP presidential primaries but speaks well for him.) In Florida, some Republicans are trying again:

http://www.thebradentontimes.com/news/2014/01/25/state_government/republican_senator_reintroduces_bill_to_accept_federal_medicaid_expansion_dollars/#.UuVqNLTTmpo

"A nearly identical bill filed last year had the support of the entire Florida Senate and Governor Rick Scott. But while House Democrats were on board, the bill died in the House, where all but one Republican voted to support a different bill, which rejected the federal money."

And I quite agree with you on the subject of state lotteries. They said the same thing in California and look what happened to the schools. And in return you have the state sponsoring gambling, particularly among poorer people. I just don't think that's comparable to the Medicaid expansion (which is already offering a tangible benefit to desperate people, as in West Virginia).

Fred

Stepahanie,

States set the standard of what services they provide to their neediest and one way to do that is by having a realistic budget. There will be no budget apocalypse, nor will it take fifty years; there will be a budget shortfall as the federal government is not guaranteeing payment in perpetuity.

You are right that gambling and medicare are not the same. It is the political conduct of the government that is going to remain the same and eventually federal funding of the expansion will end.

Stephanie

Fred, I took the "fifty years" from your previous post. Seems to me there's no guarantee that shortfalls will result from the states accepting the Federal money. Republican governors like Rick Snyder of Michigan are already planning realistic budgets around the Medicaid expansion.

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