Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Cruel And Unusual Punishment Of Making The Sick Work For Their Health Care

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The GOP and Trump recently reached a new low when a number of Trumpie-dominated states began to pass laws in Medicaid expansion states to make recipients work for their health care. Never mind that 95% of the 70 million Medicaid recipients are either children or adults so severely physically or mentally ill that no one would hire them even if they wanted to work.

Take the case of Thomas J. Penister of Milwaukee, recently examined in The Denver Post (January 14, p. 14A, 'Debate Over Work Requirements Begins').  Penister suffers from such severe social anxiety disorder that he's been unemployed the past five years, unable to even stuff a letter in an envelope in the presence of coworkers without flying into a panic. Fortunately, with Medicaid, he's received help and has been able to see a behavioral health specialist to deal with his anxiety.

Penister also acknowledges that while he's made progress it simply hasn't been enough to enable him to satisfactorily return to the workforce. At the same time, he's "unnerved by the prospect of losing his Medicaid".  He doesn't believe, as millions like him, that one beset by physical or mental issues should have to go out and work for his health care. (His state, Wisconsin, is one of ten and counting, that applied for a waiver seeking to implement work requirements for single adults.)

But this is what our nation has come to, as evidenced by the farce of a state of the union address tens of millions were duped into watching - and believing the swine in chief could be a uniter not a divider.  In more specific terms, the GOP are quite okay with giving away enough huge tax cuts for the CEOs and corporate parasites to be able to afford luxuries like that shown below:

But are averse to enabling a guy like Penister to receive Medicaid to take care of his mental health. Let us note here that - as reported in a Washington Post column  - the Republican tax bill  nominally delivers $3.7 trillion in tax breaks over the next decade.  However, nearly $1 trillion in Medicaid cuts are needed to support those tax breaks in case they don't deliver any growth or revenue. In other words, the GOOPs are hoping enough  sick Medicaid people put to work will croak and so cut down the rolls.
The claim made by the Repukes is that their plan isn't draconian or Scrooge like at all, but merely an attempt to "return Medicaid to its original intent".  That is, to act as a temporary stopgap until people can find work. The GOOPs appear to be oblivious to the fact that too many cheapo companies - like Walmart - instead of providing health care for workers, steer them into Medicaid!

But what the Reeps are most incensed about, and why they are driven to take cruel action, is that they were outsmarted by Obama - who implemented a significant expansion of the ACA by expanding Medicaid. SO that 70 million are now covered under the ACA- Medicaid umbrella, where things like preexisting conditions have no warrant. 

The clueless Reeps also miss the boat regarding the fact many people on Medicaid are working, but their health care and its ancillary costs can't be met by their incomes. Take the case of  Matthew Fischer and his wife highlighted in the Denver Post's extended look at Medicaid recipients in Colorado  back in July. As the Post noted, "both have health insurance and work full time".  It "covers major medical issues picks up substantial costs for their child's medical care" - though they inevitably hit their maximums in January each year.   But there is much it doesn't provide and that's where Medicaid comes in. That includes: the wheelchair ($25,000), the formula their 11 -year old (Cecilia) which needs to be ingested through a feeding tube. ($500 a month), and the nurse who accompanies their daughter to school and attends to her needs.  As the Post explains:

"All of that is covered through a Medicaid waiver, making Cecilia among the 45 percent of the state's Medicaid recipients who are age 20 or younger."

But that's the key characteristic of these Philistines on the Right:  they don't care that people are already working.  If they're not earning enough money it's all on them,  not the inequitable system,  which is geared more to Wall Street than Main Street.

I'll go one further: This GOP plan to make those on Medicaid work for their care is merely a cruel effort to punish the poor and infirm.  This attitude can mostly be traced to the Repukes' fondness for Social Darwinism. While they reject scientific Darwinism and evolution, they have a boner for Herbert Spencer's specious form.  Indeed, Richard Hofstadter, in his Social Darwinism in American Thought, (American Historical Association, 1955) observes that Spencer rejected all services for the poor and disabled as encouraging a fundamental weakness in society which induces corruption, sloth and all the other vices. It was also Spencer, not Darwin, who coined the phrase "the survival of the fittest". 

Oh, another choice saying of Spencer's was the following:

"If they are sufficiently complete to live, they do live, and it is well that they should live. If they are not sufficiently complete to live, they die, and it is best that they should die."

Hmmmm.... they "should die".   The basic GOP health care plan exposed, the death solution plan!
But this degeneracy of making sick people work is only the beginning of erosion of the general welfare as embodied in the Preamble of the Constitution. The Pukes ultimately want to cut Medicaid to the bone so even if the  chronically infirm want to work they can't get health care.  This is the goal of these barbarians:  to savagely slice all social services in line with Spencerian Social Darwinism so the poor and sick mostly die off. Then the country will be made safe for the rich parasites to do whatever they're doing now - including  screwing the poor fools still tying their wealth to phantom assets in the bubbling stock market. But then when it crashes and all those who couldn't afford to lose their saving are penniless,, no amount of caterwauling or imploring- say by their new employer Wal-Mart (to its low paid workers) will get them the gov't help they need. They will truly be on their own, to starve or at least be malnourished (for lack of food stamps) or perish in a nasty H5 N1 Bird flu pandemic because Medicaid lacked the federal matching funds to survive in their state.

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