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John Wertman

Yes - but we're likely to have the opposite situation on Medicaid expansion, so does that leave us at a 1-1 tie?


Is anyone paying much attention to that? I know it is an important policy issue, not sure about politics.


The groups that depend the most on Medicaid don't vote. The only people who care about that issue to an extent that it matters beyond those people are policy wonks that comprise maybe a fraction of a percent of the voting population. It sucks, but the one consistent since I've been following politics has been that you can't depend on the poor and students to win every year. Sadly, that's exactly what we're dependent on, without knowing how to turn them out (no one outside the Obama folks do).

I'm honestly not sure where public opinion is on this issue. What tag line does Cooch get out of this? "No Gas Tax" isn't going to work if they're shifting it to wholesalers.


Andrew, not totally true. There are other constituencies for Medicaid expansion that do vote and in some cases give money as well-- hospital administrators, doctors, nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists and medical equipment suppliers


For the hospitals and doctors this is not a mere casual matter, expansion is the tradeoff and compensation for lower reimbursement rates and if they don't get the expansion their economic viability is in question


If that's the case, then I expect that their lobbying arms are at work on this right now. I haven't seen evidence of this, but if it's true, I'm sure their campaign contributions will start making this issue bigger this year.


I don't buy your take, Ben. A GOP Governor's plan passing an all-GOP legislature (given Bolling's tie-breaking power) is not going to have any converse benefit to Cooch on the whole.

First, that Republicans pushed and passed this plan defuses a significant amount of potential rank-and-file GOP anger. They simply trust this legislation more coming from their own kind than coming from Democrats.

Second, Cooch being out on an island in opposition doesn't help him, and potentially hurts him, with the swing voters necessary for either party to win, yes including in a state election with lower and uneven turnout. "Alone" is a bad place to be in politics, voters identify that with undesirable extremism, a place they don't want to go.

Cooch needs strong allies supporting his position, and what he really needs is for the legislation to die so that he can claim that the outcome vindicates him and shows his position is mainstream.


One thing is for certain, though: internal opposition among Democrats isn't going to make any political hay now that the 2013 standard bearer supports this. Getting out from under that will be tough, assuming that Terry's machine will be the de facto state party this year. We better hope the public likes this plan.

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