The Goldwater Institute Wants to Stop Obamacare in AZ? Barry Sr. Would Be Proud

Coddling copperheads never has been my thing. On the other hand, I don't expect vipers to morph into poodles, which is why I'm bewildered by the outrage expressed by local scribblers over the Goldwater Institute's suing Governor Jan Brewer on the subject of Medicaid expansion.

The lawsuit argues that the governor's Medicaid plan, passed earlier this year via a bipartisan coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats in the Arizona Legislature, violates the Arizona Constitution because it relies on a tax of local hospitals, which Brewer and the pro-Medicaid folks insist is, in reality, a simple fee.

The state constitution, as modified by voters in 1992, requires a two-thirds majority in both the state House and Senate to pass new taxes. And because the state's Medicaid expansion passed with mere majorities in both houses, all "monies collected pursuant to or spent from that assessment are illegal," according to the institute's complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court.

For Goldy, the modern welfare state was more dangerous to the cause of freedom than hardcore communism.
Library of Congress/Marion S. Trikosko
For Goldy, the modern welfare state was more dangerous to the cause of freedom than hardcore communism.

The sneers and jeers of the local punditocracy to news of this lawsuit have been loud and scabrous. Our paper of record — which has hailed Brewer and her moderate GOP allies in the Legislature (known derisively as RiNOs, "Republicans in Name Only") as heroes and heroines in passing Medicaid expansion — so far has published three editorials berating G.I. attorneys as ideological hacks, defenders of the rich, and persecutors of the poor.

Such venom suggests that said attorneys may have a successful argument going for them, one that might upset an infusion of federal cash into the local economy.

Because, to Brewer and her tribe, Medicaid expansion never has been about making sure the working poor in this state have access to healthcare.

I mean, do you really think Brewer or the Arizona Chamber of Commerce (a big supporter of the plan) gives a flip about putting 350,000 people in this state on the Medicaid rolls for humanitarian reasons?

Oh, hell no. Medicaid expansion is about federal dollars — an estimated $1.6 billion in the first full year of implementation — flowing into Arizona. The hospitals don't want to miss out on that bounty, which is why most are eager to pay any fee authorized, per the new law, by the head of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

Why did Brewer, heretofore an ardent foe of all things Obama, do a 180, push the expansion, and cause a Grand Canyon-size rift in the local GOP, with many Republicans denouncing her as a traitor and re-dubbing Obamacare as "Obrewercare"?

Was it her concern over her "legacy," which one generally can sum up by saying, "Senate Bill 1070"?

Did she suddenly grow a heart? The same woman who cut more than 140,000 people from the Medicaid rolls just two years ago?

I can't say I've ever crawled inside Brewer's skull, beating back the bats and cobwebs in the process. But the influence of Arizona "shadow governor" Chuck Coughlin, of the powerful HighGround consulting firm, had to be the preeminent force at work in turning Brewer.

In mid-2012, Coughlin (a.k.a. "Brewer's brain") and his fellow lobbyists already were assembling the coalition of hospitals and other interests that would work for Medicaid expansion.

In 2013, Coughlin was telling the media — while representing the Arizona Health Care Coalition — that "elections have consequences" (a line Brewer parroted) and that because of Obama's re-election, the people had spoken on the issue of Medicaid and Obamacare.

I would suggest there was more than a little self-interest involved in this.

Remember the aphorism "a rising tide lifts all boats"? In the case of Coughlin and Medicaid, this may be the case, though Coughlin's yacht doesn't quite compare to the dinghies clung to by Medicaid users.

One tantalizing prospect of a Goldwater Institute lawsuit is that all the players might be deposed, revealing the mostly crass motives at work behind the scenes of the Medicaid-expansion campaign.

That's not to say I want to see G.I. succeed in nullifying Medicaid expansion, but I don't fault it for bringing the suit.

After all, the 501c(3) nonprofit is called the Goldwater Institute. Not the Harry Truman Institute or the Lyndon Baines Johnson Institute.

And make no mistake: Goldwater himself was opposed to Medicare and Medicaid, as he was in principle to Social Security.

Quite famously, while running for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964, Goldwater suggested that Social Security be made voluntary.

"If a person can provide better for himself," he said of the program at his campaign's start, "let him do it."

Goldwater later tried to walk this back, contending that he really wanted to strengthen Social Security and that such suggestions were a means to that end. His campaign touted that he had voted in support of Social Security several times during his career in the U.S. Senate.

But there was no masking the disdain of a rich man — which Goldwater was — toward LBJ's Great Society and its War on Poverty.

Robert Alan Goldberg, Barry's best biographer by far, offers this impolitic Goldwater quote from the 1964 campaign trail:

"We are told that many people lack skills and cannot find jobs because they do not have an education . . .The fact is that most people who have no skill, have no education for the same reason — low intelligence or low ambition."

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43 comments
HaddieNuff
HaddieNuff

I really don't care if GI or any other RWNJ has their panties in a bunch and riding in the place where their butt cheeks meet as a reaction to the expansion.  It's pretty difficult to argue with a $1.9 billion influx of money into our sad and laboring economy.  It also will create approximately 21,000 jobs (see link below).  Even ignoring the lives it will save, not to mention the cheaper cost of treating people before they have to get care from the ER, it's a good deal for Arizona. 

WTF? Only the wealthy and the incredibly stupid would object to the expansion.

http://grandcanyoninstitute.org/

Report on the returns from medicaid expansion

serpico1000
serpico1000

this is just another political posture Republicans are doing on Republicans, and it's all in the name of leveling the playing field for voters who are scratching their head and wondering, What's going on? Horse, and Pony circus, thats all. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Allowing the Constitution to be violated, even for the good of the people, is always a bad thing.


FRONTERA
FRONTERA

I  am   glad  the GOVONOR  has signed this bill to help  the poor get health  care. And I don't doubt ,that some folks gonna get rich along the  way....But  if your not good to people in this life ,you will  be re-incarnated and come back  working  for  GOLDWATER  INST.  p.s. JAN is trying to soften her  image and legacy of the exploitation of rancher  ROBERT  KRENTZ  death to get elected and  signing  1070 .

Moist
Moist

You know, if we let nature take its course and just let a bunch of the poor people die, then we'll have a bunch less poor people to take care of. I'm just saying...

Dana Wittmann
Dana Wittmann

The Goldwater Institute is a bane on AZ. Barry would be horrified

ReggieVV
ReggieVV

Goldwater gets its minions to sponsor legislation their masters at Koch Industries want, then gets the Ninth Floor Occupant to sign it, then sues if every entity does not kowtow to their version of THEIR own legislation. Arizona, we need a revolution alright, to take back this State from the Koch Brothers and their bought and paid for organization, Goldwater, and those idiots at the Arizona Center for the Taliban. As the right often says, no one elected THEM!

Lance Bertrand
Lance Bertrand

I agree that Goldwater is dead and his minions can just STFU..

Daron Nikki Petit
Daron Nikki Petit

Obamacare is force via violent government against free men. It is another step towards the merge of government and corporate power-Fascism.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

So, are you suggesting that welfare recipients and those dependent on the state for support are the most intelligent and highest in ambition?   

Phil Oliver
Phil Oliver

Yes, the more people who lack basic access to healthcare, the better off we will be as a society. People who cannot afford healthcare are no damn good and should just be buried alive in the desert, really. Or disassembled for organ donations and generate some much needed revenue for the insurance industry, which is still struggling of course... [/sarcasm]

John Graef
John Graef

Just because Christopher Columbus sailed to the Bahamas does not make him a good astronaut.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

AZ Government needs a major overhaul! How many times can you get sued and STILL stay in office? She is just stupid, and proud of it.

Miguel Ruiz
Miguel Ruiz

disagree... didn't we as voter vote to expand eligibility of medicaid (ahccs) in early 2000s?

Jim Pompe
Jim Pompe

I don't think Mr. Goldwater would recognize the majority of issues that the Institute is pushing in his name, it's really sad.

Chris Bates
Chris Bates

I would like the reverse... can Obamacare stop the Goldwater Institute?

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

The Goldwater Institute is a joke. Why anyone takes them seriously only shows what idiots Arizonans have become. They are nothing more than a lobbying firm ready to do the bidding of anyone who will pay them. This lawsuit will do nothing except pad their pockets.  But its what the GOP loves to do. 

Creamy
Creamy

@Moist It's hard to argue with that logic. Human Spock would be conflicted, but the superior Vulcan Spock mind would be extrapolating out the lowered birthrate numbers among the poor as they die off, ultimately coming up with the number of generations necessary to eradicate poverty altogether. Imagine that, a world without poverty and all it would take is a little tough love.

ryangrone
ryangrone

@Phil Oliver  Its been theorized that agent orange exposure causes type ii diabetics and if you stepped foot in Vietnam and have type ii diabetes you are service connected by the VA  The VA doesn't even pay for test strips for most of its type ii diabetics. Yet they pay for expensive insulin pumps of highly dubious value for type i diabetics because it increases the profit of the medical establishment and power of the VA  over those diabetics. If this is the way the gubment is treating its supposedly honored veterans how are they going to treat our poorest citizens? How well we be able to pay for all of this when one out of every three americans born after 2000 will be diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetimes?

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@dennis20 Yeah, they suck. But Lem has a point: Goldwater sucked too. He was a rich man who was against Social Security Medicaid and Medicare. He wld have fit right in with the tea party fruitcakes.

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@dennis20 I take that back. They dont always suck. There was that report they did on Arpaio not doing his job. was that 2008?

 
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