By Robert A. Vella
Republican Tom Corbett is the most unpopular governor in the United States, by far. His conservative agenda hasn’t been received very well in this northern blue state of Pennsylvania.
From The Washington Post – Tom Corbett’s poll numbers are epically bad:
The Republican Pennsylvania governor is basically being left for dead in his reelection campaign, kneecapped by poor approval ratings and the surprisingly strong campaign of businessman and political newcomer Tom Wolf (D). For months now, Corbett has been The Fix’s No. 1 most vulnerable governor.
The latest indignity: A new Franklin & Marshall College poll shows Corbett winning the support of just 24 percent of Pennsylvania voters. That’s right, an incumbent … at 24 percent. That’s just not something you see — like ever.
So, what does a loyal Republican politician do when faced with almost certain defeat this November? Does he stick to his party’s ideological principles and bravely accept the inevitable consequences from voters? Or, does he cowardly attempt to save his gubernatorial skin by doing the unthinkable – agreeing to expand Medicaid in his state under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare)?
From the Huffington Post – Republican Governor Agrees To Expand Medicaid For Low-Income Residents In Pennsylvania:
WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania agreed to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, joining 26 states and the District of Columbia.
Federal regulators accepted a modified proposal from Gov. Tom Corbett (R) that will offer an estimated 500,000 low-income individuals subsidies to purchase private insurance. The plan allows some low-income individuals to be charged premiums for coverage, and permits the number of available benefit plans to be reduced from 14 to two — a “high-risk” option and “low-risk” options — according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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The Republican governor initially sought to require those seeking coverage to be actively searching for jobs, a controversial provision that angered Democrats. Instead, the state will fund and administer a voluntary program that will offer job training and placement services for Pennsylvanians who decide to participate.
There probably are some Republicans (i.e. Tea Partiers) who are so committed to their radical right-wing ideology that they wouldn’t compromise their beliefs under any circumstances. But, as we can now see, Tom Corbett isn’t one of them.