Haslam has been wringing his hands over this ever since the Supreme Court ruled more than a year ago that Medicaid expansion is optional for the states. He can’t do the right thing because the tea party will burn down his house and shoot his dog. But that puts him in a tight spot because, by rejecting Medicaid expansion, he’s pissing off everyone else in the state.
We’re guessing Corbett and Haslam received the same talking points on this one:
1. Talk tough about how screwed up Medicaid is and about how Washington is hopeless and can’t possibly do health care right.
2. Pretend to be introspective and serious and propose a bunch of over-the-top, impossible-to-approve, blatantly illegal restrictions on the program in return for supporting its expansion in your state.
3. As hospitals close and lay off workers and your state falls into a mini-recession, blame Washington for intransigence and unwillingness to listen to your thoughtful suggestions.