* I reported earlier today that Terri Lynn Land, the GOP candidate for Senate in Michigan, might find herself in a tough spot once the Medicaid expansion kicks in there. Land supports full repeal, and Americans for Prosperity, which is spending huge money against Dem Gary Peters, is fighting the expansion in multiple states, but in Michigan, it is being implemented by GOP Governor Rick Snyder, and could benefit over 400,000 people.
I asked Land’s campaign whether she supports repealing the Medicaid expansion, in keeping with AFP’s agenda. Here’s the reply, via Land’s spokesperson, Heather Swift:
“Terri believes that healthcare should be affordable and accessible to all Americans and that we as a society have a moral obligation to help those who are not as fortunate and their children. Terri applauds Governor Snyder for doing what he believes is best for Michigan families, while complying with mandates from Congress brought down in ObamaCare.
“Out of control government spending is killing jobs and has put the federal government more than $17 trillion in debt. Now, Congress is making big promises to the most vulnerable among us. We’ve already heard the President and Members in Congress break the promise that if you like your healthcare, you could keep it.
“As a mom, business owner and public servant, Terri knows that ObamaCare does not work, and she supports health care reform that truly makes coverage affordable and accessible — that doesn’t kick people off their plan, force them to switch doctors, or increase their premiums.”
It is very hard to square that with support for repeal — remember, AFP is currently campaigning to block efforts to expand Medicaid in multiple states — though it stops short of openly embracing the expansion. This demonstrates, once again, that the politics of Obamacare hold pitfalls for Republicans, too.
* Alec MacGillis has a sobering but important piece comparing two current state battles (gay rights; Medicaid expansion) to demonstrate that liberals are far better at fighting on social issues than on economic ones, which is to say, libs really need to up their game.
* Zach Carter continues his good reporting on behind the scenes tensions among Dems over trade, with Dems and liberals now angry at the administration for apparently backtracking on a guarantee of tougher environmental protections in the free trade deal. This one will continue to divide the party.
* A terrific Brian Beutler meditation on the real meaning of Jan Brewer’s veto of the anti-gay bill, and what it means for the right’s “religious liberty” argument and the future of the cultural wars in general.
* Burgess Everett scoops that Senator Joe Manchin, perhaps the most conservative Dem, will support the minimum wage hike, which perhaps will put an end to the nonsense about red state Dems running from it.
* Over at his new digs, Ryan Cooper reminds us that paying for job creation policies by borrowing money and running up the deficit is actually good policy, even if this idea has been banished from the realm of respectable discourse.
The federal budget deficit fell precipitously to $680 billion in the 2013 fiscal year from about $1.1 trillion the year before, the Treasury Department said Thursday. That is the smallest deficit since 2008, and marks the end of a five-year stretch when the country’s fiscal gap came in at more than a trillion dollars a year.
* Why won’t House Republicans move on immigration reform? A striking finding from Pew:
Tea Party Republicans have an especially positive view of the rising number of deportations. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans and Republican leaners who agree with the tea Party (65%) say the increase in deportations of unauthorized immigrants is a good thing, compared with about half (52%) of non-Tea Party Republicans.
* I’m late to this, but it’s important: Religious leaders are ratcheting up the pressure on the House GOP over immigration reform. The key is whether the center-right groups will extract an actual price for inaction.
“My gripe is not with the tea party; my gripe is with some Washington organizations who feel like they got to go raise money by beating up on me and others.”
Seriously. Time to really put those groups in their place. How about a vote on the GOP’s own immigration proposals?