In a shameful display of partisan politics and hard-heartedness, Missouri’s Republican Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has publicly urged uninsured citizens to forego the opportunity to get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]. Beside the ugly, unseemliness of a statewide official publicly trying to undermine a legitimately passed federal law, Kinder’s stance is noteworthy for its sheer hypocrisy.
In Kinder’s words, delivered at a press conference one week before the new health exchanges are set to go live: “I would hope that there would be active resistance to this law–that people would not sign up.
As an editorial in the Kansas City Star puts it:
Here is a guy who for 20 years (eight as lieutenant governor so far and 12 before that as a state senator) has been receiving subsidized health insurance at taxpayer expense. And he’s telling Missourians who may not be fortunate enough to have an affordable insurance policy to stay away from the place designated to help them.This isn’t Kinder’s first attempt to sabotage Obamacare. He has been outspoken and highly active in trying to block Obamacare implementation in Missouri. He filed a lawsuit to block it, but–thankfully– it went nowhere. And thanks to him and other Republican legislators, access to affordable health care via ACA will be very difficult in Missouri, because there will be no state-run exchange, and no official support, public-information campaign, or navigational help for the federally-run exchange. And, lest we forget, no expansion of Medicaid.
“I don’t see any reason to enable the implementation of this law,” Kinder said. [Except, of course, that it stands to help as many as half of the 800,000 Missourians who currently do not have health insurance and who may be eligible for subsidized coverage via the online health insurance exchange.]
What Kinder is doing has become common practice in the Republicans’ nihilistic, Obama-hating world: Rather than do anything that might make President Obama look good, a politician–whose position affords him safe haven from the economic concerns of the riffraff he purportedly represents–encourages his less-fortunate constituents to act against their own self-interest.
As the Kansas City Star concludes:
The “active resistance” from people like Kinder just means Missourians will have to wait longer than residents of other states to receive the cost savings and medical security that the exchanges are intended to bring.