The Affordable Care Act, alternatively known as Obamacare, is officially the law of the land. The controversial piece of legislation has been the subject of great political divide between the republican and democratic parties in recent years, and tensions over the matter are only growing.
While the law is in effect in every state without exception, it is up to each state individually whether to accept the expansion of Medicaid. So far, 20 states have decided to reject the expansion outright. The common thread between these states is that each has a republican governor.
On November 5, 2013, democrat Terry McAuliffe was elected governor of Virginia, one of the states that initially rejected the expansion of Medicaid. With the newly elected democratic governor now in office, the state was expected by most experts to agree to expand Medicaid.
Likely as a result of this major new development, republicans in the state of Virginia have resorted to what appears to be outright bribery to reduce the influence the democrats in their state.
The Washington Post is now reporting that democratic Senator Phillip P. Puckett will be resigning from his office in exchange for “prestigious jobs” he and his daughter are being offered by members of the GOP.
Having one less democrat in power will make it easier for republicans to block the passing of Medicaid. Other democrats in Puckett’s state of Virginia are not taking the news lightly.
“It’s astounding to me. The House Republican caucus will do anything and everything to prevent low-income Virginians from getting healthcare… They figure the only way they could win was to give a job to a state senator,” democratic delegate Scott A. Surovell fumed to the Washington Post. “At least they can’t offer Terry McAuliffe a job. I hope Terry continues to stand up to these bullies.”
The Huffington Post printed Governor McAuliffe’s reaction to these developments. “I am deeply disappointed by this news and the uncertainty it creates at a time when 400,000 Virginians are waiting for access to quality health care, especially those in Southwest Virginia.”