Did the title give it away? Do you think the commonality shared by Jefferson City’s GOP Boy Wonder and the Orange Buffoon might have something to do with a willingness to exploit the reptilian brain of the base by presenting made-up stories to explain unpleasant facts? Stories that shift blame by exploiting carefully nurtured negative, emotionally evocative connotations? Stories like the one Governor Greitens told when he claimed Missouri’s budget shortfall is due to Obamacare?
There’s no rightwing buzzword with greater negative emotive impact for the red meat base than “Obamacare” – or at least that’s been true in the past. Now that it might disappear, however, lots of folks are experiencing a newfound appreciation for the ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare. Which is why GOPers are also desperate to paint the by-and-large successful initiative as a dead-on failure – that, they hope, will make it easer when they do repeal with no meaningful replace, and the masses, including their prone-to-snarl base, lose their insurance and start dropping like the flies they might as well be when it comes to the consideration they can expect from members of the Great Orange Pumpkin party.
These facts likely explain why our novice Governor tried to blame Missouri’s budget shortfall and the very nasty cuts he’s made on Obamacare. But they don’t make his lie right. Either Baby Big Chief hopes to pull the wool over our eyes, or he isn’t quite as smart as he’s cracked up to be. Despite the bushwa he’s trying to sell, Obamacare had nothing to do with the two cost factors he, or at least his spokespeople, cite:
1. Increases in Medcaid caseload: It’s likely that publicity for Obamacare resulted in more Medicaid applications, but it seems to me that the guilty party here is really the Missouri Republican party, not Obamacare:
- The Missouri GOP legislature refused the federal (Obamacare) Medicaid expansion.
- Medicaid expansion would have saved the state $100 million a year.
- Medicaid expansion would have accommodated even more growth than the increase – mostly needy children – that the state is now struggling to cover
2. Soaring pharmaceutical prices: Here we have two villains only peripherally related to Obamacare –greedy Big Pharma and the Republicans who enabled them by throwing hissy fits about not including pharmaceutical cost controls back when Obamacare was being formulated and there was still some foolish hope that a few GOPers would come on board:
- Obamacare at its inception failed to build in regulation of prescription drug prices, and proposals to use Medicare’s clout to bargain down drug prices were mooted thanks to persisitent aforesaid GOP vapors over “big gubment” intrusion.
- Unregulated Big Pharma decided to milk the market for all its worth.
- Many new drugs have come onto the market with sky-high and higher prices
- P.S. It’s a problem that could be fixed were saner minds ever to prevail.
And guess what? Both of these problems will continue to get worse if Obamacare goes away. Greitens just doesn’t seem to understand or refuses to acknowledge the real problem behind his budget troubles:
- Somebody’s got to tell the boy about the tax cuts enacted by members of his own party last year. Hard to spend what you don’t have.
- Baby Boy also needs to know that corporate tax returns are down thanks to earlier Republican legislative fiddling with the tax code in order to give goodies to corporate pals.
These budget cuts are a big deal. Tax cuts have been a disaster – one that Greitens threatens to make worse. State spending had been pared down to the bone before we ever heard of Eric Greitens. If he goes ahead and returns value for dollars to all those dark-money and upfront donors who funded his campaign and cuts taxes even more, it’s gonna be hello to that raggedy-ass Kansas state of being. If you think today’s cuts are bad, just wait. Greiten’s wealthy donors will make out big and the rest of us will bear the costs. And worst of all for Governor Baby Boy, he may not have a fanciful Obamacare crutch to lean on .