As I was standing along the guard rails at Gov. Bentley’s inauguration parade on Monday, I overheard on a nearby police radio that there were protesters in the area.
Now, I had heard that a few protesters had turned their back on the governor during his speech earlier in the day, but I was hoping for an all-out 60’s-style protest — posters with clever phrases, screaming and howling half-naked hippies, maybe even a guy with a guitar singing about the onslaught of oppression across the country.
Needless to say, I was left wanting.
Aside from the dozen or so protesters early in the day, the inauguration ceremonies were another ho-hum event for our ho-hum governor.
But the good doctor did say some things during his speech that surprised me, to say the least.
Bentley said that “we must work to improve the well-being of our people by making healthcare more accessible and affordable for everyone.”
Can you believe that?
Our governor, a doctor, has finally realized that ensuring the health of our citizens is a job worth doing.
Further, he has admitted that bending to the whims of that commie Muslim in Washington might not be such a bad idea — in fact, it might be the only way to save thousands of Alabamians and infuse millions into our state.
Obviously, Bentley is getting a lot of flack from the right on this one because taking money from Obama, even if it would benefit thousands of the most needy in our state, is a crime punishable by stoning.
Sadly for Republicans, our state is facing budget shortfalls of several hundred million dollars.
By expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Bentley would be able to accomplish a number of things.
Number one, the federal government would pay the full cost of Medicaid expansion for three years, after which time the state would never pay more than 10 percent of the cost.
That would mean that Bentley would not have to worry about an increase in healthcare spending for quite some time.
Number two, expanding Medicaid would offer health care to thousands of Alabamians who are now running to emergency rooms every time something goes wrong, thus saving the state further money.
Further, those people’s well-being is directly related to the well-being of the state and its finances.
Number three, it would prove to everyone that Bentley has the common sense to enact good legislation, despite right-wing extremists’ complaints, and the compassion needed to govern a people with decency and empathy.
Our state faces a number of problems — our prison system is rife with corruption, overcrowding and under-funding; we have a budget shortfall big enough to kill an accountant, even a large one; we have indicted men leading our houses of government and no one seems to care or be intelligent enough to vote them out of office.
But with all of this in mind, our biggest problem is healthcare and getting it to those who need it most.
To do so would not only change Bentley’s legacy in this state, but it would revolutionize the way this state is able to care for its people.
To do otherwise would be foolish and hateful, at best.
Crossposted from Piece of Mind.
Content posted to MyMPN open blogs is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to MintPress News.