Since winning the office, he has talked about how Medicaid is broken, yet he has had three years with his party in control of the state Legislature (plus eight years as a legislator) and still, according to the governor, Medicaid is broken in Alabama.
One has to wonder what it will take for the governor to declare that he has fixed it, or to declare that he can’t.
Either way, he can no longer use that as an excuse for not letting the federal government step in and at least help the needy people that the governor has so far refused to assist. After all, the governor is a physician. And as a physician, he took the Hippocratic Oath, by which (according to one version) the person swearing promises to keep the sick “from harm and injustice.”
Did he check that oath when he entered the governor’s mansion?
Democrats in the Alabama Senate are now proposing a bill that will force the governor to accept the extension of Medicaid offered by Washington, an extension that comes with a generous subsidy to pay for most of it.
Although this page is sympathetic to the effort to force the governor to do what common decency should inspire him to do, chances are that this strategy will only stiffen his resolve given the governor’s heels-dug-in response to more diplomatic efforts to get him to soften his position. There is also the fact that the bill will never pass the Republican-dominated Legislature, plus that pesky little constitutional matter called “separation of powers” that could get in the way.
Clearly, the Democrats are playing politics, just as the governor is. Unfortunately, the plan will likely backfire on them. Both sides seem to have forgotten that if they do not sit down and work this out, if Medicaid is not expanded, real harm and injustice will be done to many poor people in this state. Those poor people should not become political pawns in a Montgomery game.
Perhaps Alabama politicians, from the governor on down, should take a Hypocrite Oath, swearing not to boast of their desire to help Alabamians and then turn around and do little to alleviate the plight of those they can help.