In the go-along-to-get-along world of the House GOP caucus, Rep. Mike Callton stands out like a sore, yet intelligent thumb.
While it appears that the entire Republican membership in the house is opposed to creating the governor's much sought after Marketplace Health care system, there is the first term lawmaker from tiny Nashville, tilting at windmills pretty much all by his lonesome.
"It's the law," he is telling anyone who will listen and so far not many have.
He contends the governor is right and action should be taken now while the House GOP Speaker and company are content to study this thing, some think to death. The Speaker disagrees btw.
"I favored waiting until after the Supreme Court decision," the GOP vice chair of Health Policy reports. But now there is a decision and Mr. Callton fears that while the rest of the free world is signing off on this, his own party is in danger of focusing too much on "ideology" and could find itself "politically isolated" just because its an election year.
And he concedes that in his caucus the "politics" of this issue, i.e. not wanting to support anything that President Obama favors, is winning out over the merits of creating more competition for health care for consumers. In a vanilla caucus that does not much embrace individual thinking for fear it might be different from the pack, Callton's comments borders on treason. Yet there he is speaking his mind
Mr. Callton, in breaking with his committee chair and Speaker on the timing of all this, is also out of step on voting for $9.8 million from the federal government.
The governor wants the Obama-bucks to start the planning process now. House R's were suppose to give it to him last Wednesday. He got a goose egg instead.
Interestingly the House Democratic floor leader, who agrees with colleague Callton, says her side has reached out to the governor's office to make a deal on all this, but Rep. Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek) reports the D's have gotten a goose egg from him.
Maybe Mr. C. can play Henry Kissinger and do a little shuttle diplomacy with both sides to get where he thinks the state should go, if his colleagues don't slap some duct tape on his mouth first.