Why politics is the dark side

I read a news story today that reminded me why I think politics is a nauseating business.

It was a story about how members of Gov. Rick Perry’s staff are negotiating with the Obama Administration to collect $100 million in Medicaid money under the Affordable Care Act (AKA ObamaCare, but I refuse to call it that.)

The money would be used to provide community-based services for people with intellectual disabilities so they can live with their families and not in institutions. I was thrilled to hear this news.

Perry changes tune

The fact that the governor’s office is seeking this funding is newsworthy because Rick Perry has been so vocal about opposing the Affordable Care Act. He has called the law a “monstrosity” and has refused to set up insurance exchanges, which would allow the uninsured in Texas to buy policies.

And he has turned down $100 billion in federal money for Medicaid expansion so that 1.5 million Texans can get health care.

The fact that he is going to accept federal money for one purpose but not another has drawn him political fire. Politico called him to task over the discrepancy in his stand, but the Governor’s folks say there’s no conflict. They say they’ve been seeking for years — long before the ACA — to provide more community services for people with disabilities .

Put a lid on it

I found myself wanting to say “Shhhhh!” to Politico and to the disability advocates who are criticizing the governor. Keep your big mouths shut. If Perry gets any kind of backlash about accepting any ACA money, he may yank the deal. And only people with disabilities will be hurt.

That’s why I hate politics. It’s all about scoring points at the expense of the opponent. Anyone else who gets hurt is just collateral damage.