Governor, you will receive a one million
dollar 'donation' to your campaign, but
somewhere in America 1,000 people
will die for lack of health care."
decision and to.... Oh. I see that
you've already pushed the button."
button once. Please stop pushing the button."
The number above is rounded for the purposes of comedy. Dark comedy. The essence is true. Republican Governors who refuse Medicaid Expansion are killing their constituents in the most blithely murderous way. Seventeen thousand (17,000) per year is the estimate. And they're doing it for some inane tea party purity test.
Rick Scott in Florida already has blood on his hands. The subtitle to the article, "The perils of Florida’s refusal to expand Medicaid," published recently in the Orlando Weekly, is simply, "Charlene Dill didn’t have to die." The author explains how Ms. Dill had a "documented heart condition" for which she needed medication, but she collapsed in a stranger's home selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door on a commission:
"Dill’s death was not unpredictable, nor was it unpreventable. She had a documented heart condition for which she took medication. But she also happened to be one of the people who fall within the gap created by the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to opt out of Medicaid expansion, which was a key part of the Affordable Care Act’s intention to make health care available to everyone. In the ensuing two years, 23 states have refused to expand Medicaid, including Florida, which rejected $51 billion from the federal government over the period of a decade to overhaul its Medicaid program to include people like Dill and Woolrich – people who work, but do not make enough money to qualify for the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies."Dill's three children will grow up in the knowledge that a less sadistic governor could have saved their mother. The heartbreaking article ends with this quotation: "Make sure that her [Charlene's] legacy is alive.”
The Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, made the news recently because her state botched its efforts at killing two people. Oklahoma wanted to kill those two people with their death penalty, but after torturing the first one to death, the state put the second man's death on hold. The twisted ironies that relate those failed attempts to the issue of Medicaid Expansion include: (1) Governor Fallin has the courage to use drugs to kill people, but not the courage to use drugs to save them, and (2) Fallin temporarily aborted the death sentence of the second condemned prisoner who was scheduled to die at the hands of the state because she didn't want the world to see Oklahoma botch another killing; whereas her constituents in the donut hole with life-threatening diseases, many of whom will die slow and painful deaths, aren't shown the same "compassion."
Sam Brownback, Governor of Kansas, decided not to Expand Medicaid. Instead he has proposed privatizing a sort of limited Medicaid for his state. His scheme would leave Kansans in the donut hole. There are reports, however, that his closest former aides, including a Chief of Staff, have sought to enrich themselves at the trough of this privatization. The FBI is investigating. Failing to save the sick and the weak in your state while your friends gorge on the fruits of their suffering is about as low as it gets. In related news, the American Cancer Society released a poll showing that Kansans support Expanded Medicaid by overwhelming margins. Even fifty-nine percent (59%) of Kansas Republicans support Expansion. But how can your greedy friends get rich off the poor and the sick if you accept Federal Medicaid Expansion?
These stories, and the stories we have yet to hear, should ravage the nightmares of these governors, but they likely won't. As a modicum of decency, as a society, the news media and, yes, we the people, should ravage the waking hours of these governors with stories about them.
Democrats have worked hard, putting their jobs and political lives on the line to stop needless pain and suffering, to remove the term "Pre-existing condition" from medical dictionaries, to lessen the number of bankruptcies filed because of medical bills, to give peace of mind, to join the rest of the civilized world in affording the people the right of universal health care, to tame the deficit with the adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," to provide a stronger and healthier workforce (and economy), to reduce the uninsured rate, to help people who are working to help themselves with Expanded Medicaid, to give parents of children under 26 the comfort of knowing their child's healthcare is assured, to provide "single payer" for those who cannot, at this time, afford it, to provide employees with the assurance that they can change jobs or become entrepreneurs without losing health care, to destroy the once-familiar phrase, "lifetime limits," to provide preventative care &tc. Republicans, on the other hand, would just as soon you die.