During one of the 2014 Texas gubernatorial debates when candidates were asked about their stand on women's reproductive rights, Greg Abbott (R) responded that he is Catholic and is therefore pro-life. In this context pro-life means anti-abortion for Greg Abbott. Based on his record as Attorney General and now as Governor, pro-life certainly does not mean caring for the actual born human, especially if that born human is poor.
While Greg Abbott hides behind his religious beliefs in order to deny women their reproductive rights he tacitly admits his hypocrisy. For Greg Abbott apparently cherry picks what beliefs he will uphold and those he will ignore. Obviously the Pope's recent messages during his visit to the U.S. are lost on Greg Abbott.
"Legislative activity is always based on care for the people,"(my bold) he told lawmakers in a speech that brought House Speaker John Boehner to tears. After his meeting with Francis, Boehner, who had talked of laying down the speaker's gavel in coming months, quit his job posthaste.
Well Governor Catholic Holy One, your decision to refuse federally expanded Medicaid will throw nearly 800,000 of your constituents, for whom you took an oath to serve, into lives of chronic illnesses and early deaths. And Texas taxpayers will pick up the tab for your cruel ideological intransigence.
And other Catholic Holy Ones, five U.S. Supreme Court Justices, gave Greg Abbott a legal means with which to punish the poor.
By all means, let states' rights overrule basic human decency.
So much for the holy ones and the sanctity of life.
I usually keep my religious beliefs to myself. Honestly, I try to avoid religious arguments like the plague. A secular humanist and member of a Unitarian Church in which the motto is deeds not creeds with a strong focus on social justice, I am a former Catholic. I grew up in a Catholic family in which I attended K-12 Catholic schools. I know a lot about Catholicism, its belief system and I understand the Pope's recent messages, completely. Pope Francis reminds me of the church in which I grew up. But then the Catholic church lurched away from social justice, forgiveness and charity to unforgiving conservatism. Adios to that.
But sometimes it's important to point out blatant hypocrisy when it shrouds itself in a veil labeled religious conviction.
The Pope's teachings may have pricked John Boehner's conscience and helped to fuel his sudden decision to resign as U.S. House Speaker and the U.S. Congress, but don't expect the same from Greg Abbott.
As Texas continues to lead the nation in the number of uninsured, a study has found that more than three-quarters of a million Texans may have little chance of getting health care coverage because the state chose not to expand Medicaid.
The 766,000 Texans who fall into the so-called Medicaid coverage gap is the highest number in the nation. It means they earn too much to qualify for the state's strict Medicaid threshold but not enough to meet the criteria for financial assistance through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace, according to an analysis of the nation's uninsured released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The Kaiser Foundation conducted a study to investigate the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and ways in which the remaining uninsured could find affordable healthcare coverage.
With only weeks to go until the new enrollment period opens for the federally mandated marketplace plans, the Kaiser study was designed to shed light on who remains uninsured - and if there are options available to them.
The results are mostly good news for many, as the study found nationwide nearly half of the 32 million uninsured in this country are eligible for either Medicaid or subsidized coverage.
Except in Texas.
In Texas where cynical ALEC driven right wing ideologies and a dislike for the duly elected President trump (no pun intended) an honest pro-life agenda. According to right wing ideologues, including the Catholic and other non-Catholic holy ones, President Obama is a two-time loser. 1. He is not 100% white. 2. He is a Democrat. The agenda? Punish the planet for his election and re-election. By all means possible.
"In Texas, that share shrinks to about a third," said Rachel Garfield, a senior researcher at the foundation and co-author of the study, adding that "the pattern for Texas is quite different."
She explained that in Texas only 11 percent of the uninsured, or just under 500,000, mostly children, could be getting Medicaid. Another 1 million, or 23 percent, are eligible for tax credits under the ACA to make marketplace plans more affordable.
When the ACA was written, it was assumed that the lowest income group would be covered by an expanded Medicaid network, and federal subsidies for coverage on state exchanges or in the federal marketplace would kick in if a person or family earned 100 percent of the poverty line.
But Texas and 20 other states chose not to expand Medicaid, leaving a large gap of uninsured caught between the two income eligibility lines.
"Their options are quite limited," Garfield said.
The cop out. Parroting the words of former Governor Rick Perry.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has refused to expand Medicaid, saying in the past that it is a broken system that does not deserve to become even larger.
So, while Greg Abbott and other Texas Republicans shroud their cruel ALEC driven policies behind a veil of so-called religious beliefs, I hate to break it to the sell-outs and haters. Pope Francis signaled the warning during his recent visit to the U.S.
John Boehner heard it, he wept and quit his job right away.
Y'all are going straight to hell.