State GOP needs to get real

Published 12:00 pm Friday, June 21, 2013

We lost. We lost in the U. S. Senate. We lost in the U. S. House of Representatives. President Obama signed the legislation into law.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney made the repealing of Obamacare a centerpiece of his campaign. We lost yet again.

It is time our state Republican leaders acknowledge reality and begin making plans for the accommodation of Obamacare. To do otherwise would be irresponsible.

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No doubt, Philip Gunn, Tate Reeves and Phil Bryant don’t want to taint their conservative credentials, but sometimes you have to be a statesman and not just a politician. A billion dollars is a lot of money to turn away on principle.

Make no mistake: Turning down the billion dollars will not save Mississippians one penny in federal taxes. We’ve already paid the money to the IRS. The only question is whether we will let the feds send a billion of that money back to Mississippi to help working families afford health care.

The Republicans don’t seem to have any problem giving special tax breaks to mega corporations. So much for free market principles.

So here we are. Mississippi, which represents one percent of the nation, is going to stand up to the United States of America and refuse to implement The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Haven’t we seen this show before? Don’t we know how it ends?

If I were dictator, our nation would have an excellent network of charity clinics and hospitals for the poor and the rest of the health care industry would be completely based on the free market.

But it is not so and no amount of wishing otherwise will change this one bit. Can somebody please explain this to our governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house?

It’s called the Sixteenth Amendment, allowing for a federal income tax. It was passed in 1913. Two-thirds majority of both the U. S. House and Senate voted for it. Then three-fourths of our state legislatures ratified it, including Mississippi. Finally, President William Taft, a Republican, signed the amendment into law.

The income tax gives the federal government the right to take our money.  End of story. They don’t have to give it back. That’s real power.

If we don’t like it, we have only one other option. That didn’t end well either. Mississippi lost 6,807 men in the Civil War, including my great great great grandfather Rob Robson.

The opponents of Obamacare warn that it’s a fool’s game of bait and switch. They argue that the federal government will be broke soon and Mississippi will have to one day foot the bill.

Please. The United States is the richest, most powerful country in the world and it prints the world currency. It is not going broke. And even if it does, why not take the billion dollars a year while it lasts.

Think about it. If someone offered you a billion dollars a year for three years, would you turn it down because they might not give you a full billion dollars in the fourth year? Of course not. You’d take the money while it lasted. This is not rocket science.

This billion dollars would have a huge effect on the growth and prosperity of Mississippi. This money would fund hospitals, clinics, physicians and the entire health care industry in our state. In many Mississippi towns, the hospital is the biggest employer.

Mississippi’s Republican leaders think nothing of giving millions to mega corporations in the name of job creation, yet they turn down a billion dollar economic windfall for our medical industry.

There is now an alternative to a simple expansion of Medicaid and further federal intrusion. Mississippi Democrats recently held a press conference at the state capitol announcing they would agree to use the federal money to subsidize private medical insurance.

All the details have not been worked out, but the feds are actively working with several states to implement this alternative. Working families would get federal subsidies to buy private health insurance.

This is a real compromise. The state’s Democrats have shown a way to resolve this stalemate. So far, the response from our Republican leadership is nothing but dead silence