Protector-in-chief goes national
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Nov 20, 2012 | 1805 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ah, Gov. Robert Bentley, Alabama’s protector-in-chief. How fortunate the state is to have him looking out for its interests.

Not quite two years into his term, Bentley has made his opposition to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act a centerpiece of his administration. Three words: He despises it. He’s called it the “single worst piece of legislation that’s been passed in my lifetime” — he previously deemed it the worst “of all time” — and he’s sticking to that premise.

Never mind that his refusal to create a state-operated health insurance exchange — which he previously endorsed — means he’s shunning the opportunity to create a state-centric program that would help thousands of uninsured Alabamians. If the state doesn’t act, the federal government will step in and do it for them.

Never mind that the Bentley-led state government is choosing politics over people.

He is Alabama’s protector-in-chief.

Tuesday morning, the Fox News audience witnessed Bentley’s anti-Obamacare viewpoints first-hand. The governor appeared on the right-leaning cable news channel and was asked several specific questions about the health-care law and his staunch opposition to it.

A few highlights:

n Bentley said he wants improved access to health care — which is splendid, considering Alabama’s high rates of obesity, diabetes and heart ailments. But, he said, “as a physician, I’ve felt this is not the way we need to go in this country.”

n When asked if he still believes the law is the worst piece of legislation passed in his lifetime, he said yes. He didn’t hesitate. “It is an unworkable law.”

n Additionally, he doesn’t believe the federal government “will be able to come in and set up federally facilitated exchanges … It is not a foregone conclusion that this law that has been passed will be implemented.”

n What’s more, “We just don’t believe that it’s constitutional.”

He’s like elevator Muzak. His droning on about small government and the Affordable Care Act hasn’t changed.

Only now, thanks to a quick segment on Fox News’ morning show, a larger segment of Americans have seen Alabama’s protector-in-chief in full anti-Obamacare mode. How fortunate we are. Bentley remains a firm member of a sizeable group of Republican governors who are stomping their feet and refusing to take advantage of the ACA’s worthwhile benefits.

It’s a stance that casts the governor — and the state — in an unbecoming light of opposition to progress. Here at home, that’s been evident for months.
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