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May 14, 2014

Why Conservatives Must Always Say, "No" And Occasionally, "Hell NO!"

Via Kristina Ribali, a cautionary tale from Arkansas about the dangers of Republicans working with Democrats and getting fleeced in the process.

The Republican majority leader of the Arkansas House, Bruce Westerman, is running for Congress and is being attacked as supporting the state's failed expansion of Medicaid through ObamaCare. Avik Roy recaps the story and says Westerman is getting a bad rap.

Republicans were leery of the proposal, but agreed to hear out the governor. On January 25, 2013, Bruce Westerman introduced a shell bill, H.B. 1143, that could be later used, once amended, as a vehicle for sweeping, private-sector-based Medicaid reform in Arkansas.

A few weeks later, Beebe came back from a meeting with Kathleen Sebelius and announced Sebelius has “agreed to give us about everything that we’ve asked for. What that really amounts to is taking the Medicaid population that would be expanded . . . and use those federal Medicaid dollars to purchase insurance through the exchange. So they would buy private insurance through the exchange for the entire population, and [HHS has] given us permission to do that.”

You can guess what happened next.

Sebelius went back on her word and reneged on all the supposed "market" reforms in the plan and stuck Arkansas with a choice of standard Medicaid or nothing. Naturally there were enough turncoat Republicans who split from the party and sided with the Democrats to pass the Sebelius ObamaCare plan.

And the punchline for this GOP bipartisan effort? Arkansas' Medicare costs have skyrocketed and they want a federal bailout.

Roy says that Westerman withdrew his name from the "shell bill" and led the opposition against the plan that passed and shouldn't be tarred as an ObamaCare supporter.

Based on what Roy lays out (and you should read it all) I disagree.

Westerman is an idiot. The GOP takes control of the legislature for the first time since 1874 and one of the first things they do is open up negotiations to implement the Democrat's signal national program?

What exactly is the point of the GOP then?

There are people like Roy who want the GOP to adopt the Democrat's dream of universal health coverage underwritten in many cases by public dollars. They are the type of people who have no problem with big government, they just want to run. Inevitably the calls then become for some bi-partisan deal that means everything shifts to the left. Sure guys like Roy will say no it will be different this time! We won't get rolled by the liberals like every other group of Republicans have.

Spoiler...they will.

Once you start negotiating with Democrats it's simply a question of how much government will expand. Until we can build the numbers to support reducing the size of government the least we can do is insist we not make things worse.

When it comes to working with Democrats listen to Reagan (Nancy that is) and Just Say NO.

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posted by DrewM. at 02:00 PM

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