The biggest post-election policy shift we’ve seen so far, from the Associated Press:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most vocal critics of the federal health care overhaul, is dropping his staunch opposition to the law.
Scott said in an interview Tuesday that he now wants to negotiate with the federal government. He said it’s time for Republicans to offer solutions to help families after they lost their bid to defeat President Barack Obama.
“The election is over and President Obama won,” Scott said. “I’m responsible for the families of Florida … If I can get to yes, I want to get to yes.”
Scott had previously stated that he would not go along with any parts of the health care overhaul that the state controls.
States have until Friday to notify federal authorities whether they plan to set up health insurance exchanges, a marketplace where individuals and smalls businesses can shop for the most affordable coverage and where many will get help from the government to pay their premiums.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to reject state participation.
Meanwhile, two experts are quoted today as saying they doubt the federal government will be able to meet the October deadline for the establishment of health care exchanges at the core of the Affordable Health Care Act.
Over at the Gainesville Times, Jeff Gill spoke with UGA health policy expert Phaedra Corso, who said:
“My guess is that one of the things (Congress) is going to have to do is to extend that deadline on when those exchanges need to be operational, either June 2014 … or maybe 2015.”
Corso added, “So here’s the domino (effect): If the exchanges aren’t in place, the individual mandate won’t be in place.”
With a growing number of state leaders saying they will leave it to the federal government to handle a crucial element of President Obama’s health-care law, even supporters of the statute are wondering if the administration is up to the job….
Joel Ario, who until a year ago was the federal official overseeing development of the exchanges, said that while he is optimistic, he isn’t certain that the federal government will be ready by October.
“Anybody who tells you for sure . . . is ill-informed, because this is still a work in progress,” said Ario, who is now a health-care consultant.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is giving early warning to those in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that they’re likely to see higher property taxes to pay for reconstruction. From NBC 4 in New York:
“It’s got to be paid for,” Christie said at a post-storm briefing Tuesday. “No one’s ever happy with higher taxes. But the fact is, what annoys people more than anything else is waste. As long as they know that their money’s being spent in a way that’s helping bring the town back to life, I think people will understand.”
James Earl Carter IV is at it yet again. The man who helped bring Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” video to light has unearthed a 30-year-old recording of an interview with legendary political strategist Lee Atwater, whose bare-knuckled but cagey tactics helped win the South for Republicans.
Read the entire account – and listen to the entire reclaimed audio — here at The Nation. But this is the most inflammatory portion from Atwater, as he explained how messaging to white Southerners shifted to coded “abstractions.” Said Atwater:
“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N—–, n—–, n—–.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘n—–’—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘N—-, n——.’”
The above quote was part of an interview of Atwater by political scientist Alexander P. Lamis, who used it without attribution in his book, “The Two-Party South.”
After Atwater’s early death in 1991, Lamis disclosed the identity of the man behind the quote.
Maybe you missed it, but my AJC colleague Katie Leslie had a conversation Tuesday with Danny Dukes, the Canton-area consultant who lost a Republican primary race for chairman of the Cherokee County Board of Education in July.
Dukes admitted being one of those thousands of people who signed a petition on a White House website, advocating Georgia’s secession from the Union. It was a protest rather than a policy position, he said:
“It’s like the Boston Tea Party sending a message saying, ‘We’re fed up with the way things are.’ We want progress and direction and leadership and don’t agree with the route things are taking,” he said.
“The racial issue has been checked at the doorstep for a long time,” he said. “In my mind, it’s not an issue.”
But even in Cherokee County, that’s the kind of protest that could circumscribe one’s political ambitions.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider