Is it shocking anymore to observe Republicans in Virginia doing nothing but obstructing or stalling important policies from being implemented? No, but even the stall tactics being used to weigh against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act seem stunningly mind boggling in their absurdity. Why?
If the Republican gamble doesn’t pay off and Romney loses the presidential competition and the U.S. Congress does not fall squarely into the hands of the GOP, Virginia will lose millions of dollars and thousands of Virginians will be denied access to primary medical care. So not only does the GOP stall maneuver make little moral sense, but it also makes little sense on the front most sacred to Republicans, the economic front.
The Affordable Care Act requires every state to set up its own health exchange where small businesses and individuals can compare and contrast different health insurance options. McDonnell had the ball in his court, so to speak, but dropped the ball by failing to “push” the health exchange initiative through the General Assembly after some of the top GOP members in Virginia agreed to go along with it.
It should go without saying that the health of Virginians is not a partisan issue, or at least it shouldn’t be. But McDonnell and some Virginia Republicans have made it just that, an issue that can help shape their message of excessive federal government overreach and their own roles as local guardians of their constituents.
Virginians should already be clear about where these political figures stand on issues pertaining to the government’s role in the daily lives of Virginians. What these politicians are adding to their resume of values is a lack of concern for their less fortunate fellow Virginians, a mark that no one should want on their record as a human being. And that’s what this health care issue is all about, caring for one another in an affluent society.
McDonnell has a chance to turn things around and set up a health insurance exchange as well as expand Medicaid in Virginia. He knows which way is the right way, the politically harder way. The only question is, will he do it?