In a conference call with reporters, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) and Gov. Duval Patrick (D-MA) praised Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act and addressed the Republicans’ lack of an alternative plan. O’Malley went so far as to say of Republicans that they’re only in favor of government intervention in health care when it takes away women’s rights.
The Maryland governor excoriated the GOP for attacking the Court’s ruling while offering nothing in the way of an alternative to the ACA. He also attacked their hypocrisy in objecting to government involvement in health care while simultaneously implementing hundreds of new restrictive anti-abortion laws in state houses across the country.
“The only health care mandate they can embrace are transvaginal probes for women,” he said.
Both Democrats stressed the fact that while Republicans may raise strenuous objections to the president’s signature piece of domestic legislation and attack it as (in the hyperbolic words of Rush Limbaugh), “the largest tax increase in the history of the world,” they have offered nothing in the way of alternatives, and would opt to stay with the status quo, which, O’Malley said, “everyone knows is broken.”
Gov. Patrick of Massachusetts spoke about the successes he has seen in that state resulting from an individual mandate on health care. Coverage rates for children have risen to 98.7 percent. Costs, he said, have come down. While the plan was not perfect when it was implemented in 2006 by current Republican candidate for president, then-Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA), Patrick said that revisions and amendments to the original legislation have provided a working model for what the nation as a whole would see under full implementation of the ACA.
Patrick addressed attacks on the individual mandate that call it and the potential non-compliance fines a tax. “Don’t believe the hype that the other side is selling,” he said, “This is a penalty. It’s about dealing with the freeloaders.”
Whatever the Republicans are calling the ACA, a giant tax increase or further proof of the president’s socialist agenda, Patrick said that at least it’s an attempt to get costs in line and make our society more just and equitable. “By whatever name,” he said of the president’s plan, “it’s a solution.”
(image of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) via Flickr Commons)