by David Safier
Soon-to-be-ex State Senator Rich Crandall is lucky he can double dip, or he and his family could be without healthcare for a few weeks. If I were an anti-Obamacare Republican, I might say, "Why should Arizona keep covering your health care when you're not doing your job? It's your problem, not ours. Suck it up, Rich, be a man." Instead I'll say I'm happy for Crandall that he won't be in the terrifying position of having to balance his family's physical health with its financial health if someone had the bad fortune of becoming seriously ill while he was without insurance. And I'll go on to say, I'm pleased for the whole country that those kinds of dilemmas will lessen greatly once Obamacare gets going.
Crandall is leaving — actually, has already left — to be director of the Wyoming Department of Education, but he won't get Wyoming health insurance until September 1, and he was supposed to quit his senator position August 16. Two of his kids are currently healthy but have serious pre-existing conditions that make the family especially vulnerable if Crandall is without health care.
Crandall's a moderate, by Arizona Republican standards, anyway. He's one of the R legislators who voted for Medicaid expansion. Still, I wonder if his brush with losing his health care is enough to turn him into a champion of Obamacare. Since Republicans seem to lack an empathy gene, it usually takes some kind of personal experience ("Oh my God, this is happening to me! We've got to do something!") to change their hearts.