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GOP Hypocrisy, the Stimulus and Affordable Care in Alabama

By Ron Crumpton
Candidate for Alabama Senate District 11

Sometimes it is hard to stomach the Republican hypocrisy in this state that vilifies every measure taken by the federal government to solve the problems facing this nation, unless it goes to benefit or glorify them… then it is okay.

There are two events that blatantly show this hypocrisy: one is the refusal to implement Medicaid expansion in Alabama and the other is the naming of the Mike Hubbard Center for Advanced Science at Auburn University.

The Republican Party has opposed the stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act more than any other legislation passed during the Obama administration.

A report from the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health concluded that implementing Medicaid expansion in Alabama would generate between $750 million and $1.6 billion in revenue for the state between 2014 and 2020, while producing between $15.8 billion and 33.6 billion in economic activity and creating over 35,000 jobs in the same period.

A report from the Kaiser commission shows that the Affordable Care Act would result in coverage for more than 300,000 Alabamians that currently do not have insurance. The state would see a 64 percent reduction in the number of un-insured in the state, according to the report, and all evidence shows that healthcare rates will drop due to the competition created by the healthcare exchanges.

On the topic of Medicaid expansion, Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard said, “My first impression is we can’t afford what we have now. We certainly can’t afford to add 400,000 people to the rolls, especially when we can’t control the eligibility requirements and the services to be provided.”

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Governor Bentley has said, “I will not expand Medicaid as it exists under the current structure because it is broken. We just cannot afford it. The people of America cannot afford it.”

This is not supported by the facts. The facts are that regardless of how you feel about the Affordable Care Act, it is being paid for with federal tax dollars, dollars that come in part from Alabama, but the actions of our state leaders have prevented us from seeing any benefit from the program.

Why would the Republican leadership want you to believe something opposite of what has been researched and studied by UAB?

It is one thing for the Republican leadership to call other reports on the subject biased, but this is UAB an Alabama University that has studied the issue and determined that the leadership is wrong, yet they refuse to listen.

One thing is certain: there has been a concerted effort by Republicans to malign this issue through spurious propaganda. The Congressional Republicans have tried to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act more than 40 times thus far, and there is no indication that they are getting any closer, or that they have any intentions of stopping.

I admit that the Affordable Care Act has issues, any legislation of that size and scope will have issues, and those problems need to be fixed, but it makes no sense for Alabamians to pay the cost of the program without receiving the benefits, it makes more sense for congressional Republicans to take steps to fix the problems rather than continually trying, unsuccessfully, to throw the baby out with the bath water through repeal.

Recently, the Advanced Science Center at Auburn University was named after Mike Hubbard. The center was built in part with $14 million provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or stimulus bill. The problem is that Mike Hubbard has called the stimulus bills wasteful, unconstitutional, an assault on the American way of life and the lives of future Alabamians.

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If the legislation was wasteful, unconstitutional, an assault on the American way of life and the lives of future Alabamians then why would you allow it to be named after you?

Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.

How can you criticize one program and deny the benefits of it to the people of Alabama, then allow another program that you criticized as unconstitutional to name a multimillion-dollar facility after you?

The answer is simple… hypocrisy.

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