In his first acts as Governor, Mark Dayton issued two executive orders related to health care. The first was to opt-in to a Medicaid expansion that will provide health care access to tens of thousands of Minnesotans. The second overturns an order from former Governor Tim Pawlenty that prohibits state agencies from pursuing federal grants to implement the Affordable Care Act. These needed actions will improve health care for all Minnesotans by reducing the amount of uncompensated care that hospitals provide.
But the best part is how Dayton defused the protesters who showed up intent on disrupting the signing of these orders. By inviting opponents on stage to present their position against the bill, Dayton demonstrated his fairness and commitment to free speech. His co-option of the "noise of democracy" also demonstrated the fringe positions of the opponents.
One speaker prefaced his remarks by stating that he had received VA health benefits for 41 years. Another declared that it is the church that is responsible for providing health care to poor people. All insisted that there is no constitutional authority for any government action on health care.
By providing the stage to opponents, Dayton demonstrated skill in managing in a divided room. What they said on stage demonstrated the inconsistency and irrationality of their arguments against his action.
Added: The third opposing speaker is Jake McMillian, sidekick of Bradlee Dean on the Sons of Liberty radio show and member of the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide (YCR) ministry. Since YCR is a church (for tax purposes, at the very least), and the church is responsible for health care for the poor, when can we expect YCR's first free clinic to open? (h/t Avidor)
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