A woman reads a leaflet at a health insurance enrollment event in Cudahy, California March 27, 2014.
Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Chutzpah Watch, Mississippi edition

Updated
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has gone out of his way to make sure the Affordable Care Act doesn’t work in his home state. It’s ironic, then, to hear him complain about the results.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) blamed President Barack Obama for a reported increase in uninsured Mississipians. The problem is, Bryant didn’t acknowledge that he’s been a staunch opponent of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare and refused to encourage enrolling in private coverage through Healthcare.gov.

Bryant directed his blame at Obama in response to a question about a WalletHub study that showed an increase in the percentage of uninsured Mississippians. The study found that the uninsured rate increased by 3.34 percentage points to 21.46 percent of Mississippi’s population, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

The Republican governor characterized the results as “a broken promise” from President Obama.
 
It’s an interesting trick, isn’t it? Bryant has done as much as he can to sabotage the ACA in Mississippi, and by standing in the way of Medicaid expansion, among other things, the governor has largely succeeded in hurting his state on purpose. As “Obamacare” sharply reduces the uninsured rate elsewhere, Mississippi is being left behind, by its governor’s design.
 
And so he’s blaming the White House.
 
It’s as if you gave me a car, I took off the wheels and refused to put gas in the tank, and then blamed you when the car doesn’t go anywhere. In this case, Bryant is blocking the law’s full implementation and whining that the law isn’t working effectively. Under the circumstances, shouldn’t the governor be bragging? He is, after all, getting the results he set out to achieve.
 
Away from Mississippi, meanwhile, the Affordable Care Act’s successes are becoming increasingly undeniable.
 
We learned yesterday, for example, that the ACA is having amazing effects on the health of Medicare’s finances, and thanks to the health-care reform law, the Medicare trust fund has been extended several years. (In political terms, it means those pushing to repeal “Obamacare” are simultaneously pushing the Medicare system closer to a fiscal crisis.)
 
At the national level, the number of Americans without access to medical care continues to fall quickly, while in states like Kentucky and New Jersey, both of which have embraced Medicaid expansion, the ACA continues to produce terrific results.
 
HHS reported overnight, meanwhile, that “Obamacare” has helped over 8.2 million seniors save over $11.5 billion on prescription drugs since 2010, and thanks to the ACA’s medical-loss ratio – the so-called 80/20 rule – U.S. consumers will save $330 million in refunds from insurance companies.
 
And that’s just the most recent good news from the last few days. All of the other recent developments have been just as heartening for those hoping to see the American system work effectively.
 
Conservatives won’t want to hear this, but the Affordable Care Act is working very well. Republican judges may yet undermine the system, and governors like Phil Bryant may have been able to stop some struggling families from receiving access to care, but to deny the law’s overall success is to turn a blind eye to reality.
 

Affordable Care Act, Health Care, Health Care Policy, Mississippi, Obamacare and Phil Bryant

Chutzpah Watch, Mississippi edition

Updated