George W, a devout worshipper at the alter of corporate ideology, believes it is sinful for modest-income families to get health coverage through the government.
Thus, he is now telling state officials in Ohio, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and elsewhere that they cannot expand their Medicaid programs to reach millions of uninsured folks. Technically, these families are not poor, yet their limited paychecks are eaten up by the basics of rent, utilities, food, clothing, and gasoline – so they don’t have private insurance. Tough luck, George declares, piously insisting that any expansion of Medicaid to meet the needs of these people would “crowd out” private insurance corporations, and we can’t have that. In his mind, market ideology trumps human need.
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Astonishingly, the Bushites insist that this ban on state action “demonstrates the president’s compassion.” Say what? Well, declares a White House PR flack, Bush “wants to direct scarce tax dollars to those with the greatest needs.”
How touching. However, there are several flaws in the president’s ideological stand. First, helping the near-poor would not take any dollars from the poor – it’s an expansion of the program. Second, how ironic that the Bushites would mention “scarce” tax dollars, since they’re the ones who’ve made them scarce with their misbegotten Iraq occupation and their tax giveaways to the super-rich. Third, leaving people without health coverage is a proven tax drain, since they must resort to expensive emergency rooms when their families fall ill.
Besides, Bush’s ideological purity is nothing but bovine excrement. Notice that while he is denying government-financed health care to hard-hit working families, he finds no sin in using scarce tax dollars to provide-platinum level health care for his own family, even though he’s a multi-millionaire with no need for government support.
“Curtailing Bids to Expand Medicaid Rolls,” New York Times, January 4, 2008.
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