Mark represents the “Bring it Home” chapter of Neighbors and does not speak for Neighbors as a whole*
In the Arkansas Times article aptly titled “Introducing Asa Care” we read this report of the Governor’s views: “He said that concerns about future costs were wise but also acknowledged the policy’s successes, helping cut the state’s uninsured rate in half and putting hospitals in the state on more solid financial footing. “Those two benefits are facts that we cannot deny, should not deny, and should rejoice in,” he said.”
Well, we should rejoice in those things, if they were actually being paid for. The problem is that they are not being paid for. All this program does, when you get past the shell games, is unsustainably borrow money on the next generation’s credit to subsidize health care for able bodied adults today. Stealing from children until their credit runs out is not anything I can rejoice in.
What is unsustainable will not be sustained, and therefore this does not represent any real long term solution, just one last big self-indulgent party until our creditors come to haul our kid’s stuff away. There is nothing to “rejoice” about, unless you are working for the entities grabbing the bulk of the money being borrowed from today’s children, and even then it is only the dirty joy of a predator who gets the better of a victim. Today’s politics is largely rationalizing stealing from people who have no vote to defend themselves from future taxation. And if, as our founders said, taxation without representation is tyranny, then we have become generational tyrants.
Going forward, the state will have to foot some of the bills, up to 10% of the total, and State Senator Bryan King calmly and rationally explains why the bills for Medicaid expansion, under whatever name, will simply cripple the state’s finances after 2017. If paying for only 10% of the government we are voting to give ourselves is going to cripple our state budget, how will our children thank us when the notes for the rest of this come due?
I am displeased that rural hospitals might have to shut down, but the answer to that is for our government to reverse the deliberate policies which have led to subsidizing large cities at the expense of rural areas.This is preferable to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s policy of laying increasing debt loads on our children forever in order to shield hospital administrators from having to adjust to painful market realities. Further, children are innocent, not all hospitals are, like this one in the delta which was committing insurance fraud against its own employees. It that the kind of people my children should be crushed by debt in order to save?
If this were a real, sustainable health care solution I would join in with the rejoicing. But this whole thing was built on, sold with, and exists by, fraud, lies, and deception. Why do people believe it is working? Because debt from past over-spending is crippling our economy, people are desperate. Desperate people are willing to believe lies that they would be wise to if they were not desperate. Recipients of this program want to believe that this program is a free lunch, or that they are somehow paying for it because they pay taxes.
Politicians in nice suits use flowery rhetoric and soothing tones to assure them that this theft is a legitimate action, so they believe the pleasant lies. They help them by dishonestly naming this welfare program a “private” option, and by disguising it to look like real private sector insurance so that when people go to pay it looks and feels like it would if they were using their own money to purchase private insurance. The program works on deception all the way through.
But of course,there is no free lunch and a program largely financed by debt is not being paid for by one’s taxes. It is not being payed for at all, and when the bill comes due perhaps some of your children will forgive us for the economic ruins we have left for them. If they do forgive us, then that is something to rejoice about. It would be an example of love and grace that we have not shown them when we support programs like this one.
*Neighbors represents people from across the political spectrum. While we may not agree on all issues, we all want to clean up this corrupt political system. Neighbors of Arkansas is organized into chapters, and each one has its own view of things. Opinions from one chapter are not necessarily endorsed by the others. We call this model “working together separately.”