Wake up, Brownback and Greitens: Time to expand Medicaid after silly embrace of doomed health care act

Sam Brownback

Sam Brownback

Eric Greitens

Eric Greitens

The wonderful death of a horrible GOP health care plan Friday has two big connections to Govs. Sam Brownback in Kansas and Eric Greitens in Missouri.

— Both Republican leaders look absolutely silly today after they signed a letter dated Thursday urging Congress to approve the American Health Care Act.

But by Friday afternoon, all the pontificating by Brownback, Greitens and other Republicans — including a lazy-looking Donald Trump — had come to naught. In embarrassing fashion, the bill never even came up for a House vote, despite the GOP’s huge majority there.

Fortunately, Obamacare remains the law of the land — even though Trump and other Republicans shamefully are implying they will do everything they can to make it fail, harming health care for millions of Americans.

— Both Brownback and Greitens now can should forward with plans to expand Medicaid in their state, joining other GOP governors who have done that to provide better health care to poor people.

True, both men have heartlessly opposed this action in the past. But with the death of the American Health Care Act, expansion of Medicaid — with federal taxpayers paying much of the freight — must be back on the table in the nearly 20 states have not done that.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, made this point Friday, saying expansion could be a positive bipartisan effort.

In Kansas, the state has foregone about $1 billion in taxpayer funding for expanded Medicaid in the last three years. Instead of creating jobs in the health care industry to take care of the people of Kansas, tax dollars have flowed from the state to help low-income residents of other states with expanded Medicaid.

Fortunately, the Kansas Legislature might vote as early as next week to expand KanCare, the state’s version of Medicaid. That would be excellent news for more than 100,000 people who could receive better health care coverage.

Kudos to forward-thinking Democrats and moderate Republicans in Kansas for pushing this plan forward. Now it needs to get done.

The news is not so bright in Missouri.

The ultra-conservatives in charge of the General Assembly have not shown much interest in similar action, even though it could help an estimated 300,000 uninsured people.

Greitens spews the same nonsense his hero Trump did on the campaign trail, saying Medicaid expansion isn’t working in other states. Yet 31 states at the very least are providing more medical care for people.

Brownback and Greitens looked foolish this week with their last-minute support for a doomed GOP health care bill.

They would look far better to much of the public if they reversed course and soon backed expanded Medicaid in their states.

 

1 Thought.

  1. Yael,
    How difficult would it be to crate a Facebook page called, say, “Ask Eric Greitens” wherein people, e.g., you, some of your former Star colleagues, maybe some Post Dispatch people, citizen journalists or simply the average angry Trump loathers, could on perhaps a weekly basis, ask the Governor the most pointed, embarrassing, excruciating to answer questions possible about his so far pathetic tenure?

    The Star today advises us that Greitens does not hold press conferences that would expose his vast ignorance and money grubbing persona, but instead relies upon social media to build his image.

    As somebody once said:”If Mohammed won’t go to the mountain, take the mountain to Mohammed.”

    On a more serious note, can we start a campaign to label Dana Altman as an astoundingly, thin skinned, immature twerp for referring to the Jayhawks as the “Chickenhawks?” He was obvious highly motivated to have his team ready and he did a fine job, but that remark must have come from some slight that occurred twenty-five or thirty years ago; it should never be allowed to fade into obscurity.
    All the best,
    Tracy Leonard

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