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It's like trying to argue how old the earth is, or whether global warming is accelerated because of human activity. No matter the evidence to the contrary, mainstream Republican thinking refuses to acknowledge that we have an essentially non-existent health care system in the U.S. if you're poor, and a pretty shitty one unless you're lucky enough to have a good job with benefits, or lots of money. So it isn't a big surprise that Mississippi's Republican Gov. Phil Bryant would say this:
BRYANT: Medicaid was meant to be a temporary [stop]gap for providing you medical treatment while you are looking for a job. Now we are saying, you can have a job and still receive Medicaid. So we have changed the whole dynamic. There is very little incentive for those 940,000 people on Medicaid to find a better job, or to go back to school, or to get [into] a workforce training program because they say: Look, if I go over $33,000,  [I] will lose Medicaid. There is no one who doesn’t have health care in America. No one. Now, they may end up going to the emergency room. There are better ways to deal with people that need health care than this massive new program.
Setting aside the fact that a good portion of Mississippi's Medicaid population is either children or elderly people in nursing homes who won't be getting jobs no matter what the incentive, it is particularly tone-deaf of the governor of that state, the one that leads the nation in poverty, to make this statement. Mississippi doesn't have the largest uninsured population among the states—Texas still has that distinction—but at 17 percent it's still pretty deplorable. That's 17 percent of Bryant's constituency that he's completely written off.

Being able to pretend that nearly a fifth of his population isn't really without health care is how Bryant justifies refusing to set up a health insurance exchange or expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. Making a huge portion of his state suffer is nothing if it provides him the opportunity to reinforce his far-right bona fides.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:32 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  More proof that I'm not everyone. (5+ / 0-)

    Father Time remains undefeated.

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:37:32 PM PST

  •  Everyone has a pony too (5+ / 0-)

    Don't they?

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:40:02 PM PST

  •  An emergency room anecdote: (6+ / 0-)

    The singular time I've been in the emergency room was because of pain from a kidney stone. While there, they noticed how high my blood pressure was. They did not treat my high blood pressure, they merely told me to go to my regular doctor and see him over it. In other words: the ER is not healthcare.

    The dismissive attitude of those who use the ER=healthcare line reveals a lot about how much they genuinely don't give a shit about others.

  •  Apparently, he doesn't know anyone who is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, raincrow, dpwks

    uninsured with cancer, or diabetes, or many other chronic, life-threatening conditions.

                      I will pray for his opening eyes, and heart,
                                      Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:49:12 PM PST

  •  Emergency rooms do not provide health care. (6+ / 0-)

    Nor are they free.

    Earth will survive. Humanity? Earth doesn't really care. Don't take it personally.

    by dpwks on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:50:05 PM PST

  •  Acute care vs. chronic care (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dpwks, walkshills

    Many chronic conditions go untreated because of lack of healthcare. Emergency rooms treat acute conditions. Ask the increasing numbers of asthmatics and diabetics to define chronic. They know the meaning of the word.

    There are many long-term unemployed who do not qualify for Medicaid. Their children do, but not the adults in the household. 401(k)? IRA? That's likely enough assets to keep you off of Medicaid. Getting help from relatives? That unearned income will likely keep you off of Medicaid.

  •  Let's invent a better way to communicate! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dpwks, jan4insight

    Even my very nice and good doctor says the same thing...that people can always  go to the Emergency Room.....even just after he told me about his wife's broken limb and subsequent weeks and weeks of physical therapy.

    PHYSICAL THERAPY!!!! Not given in emergency room.

    Please can we come up with a strategy or spend our energy and time on communicating better so we don't have to keep blogging about misperceptions, brain 'farts'  and other obstacles to universal healthcare?

    Any suggestions?

  •  In other words... (0+ / 0-)

    "Everyone in the United States has a job, they just need to go outside and start digging holes in a public park, and filling them back in. Oh, that isn't financially possible, because they don't get paid for that and still need to eat? I see...let's talk about something else."

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:57:45 PM PST

  •  Apparently Gov Phil didn't get the memo (5+ / 0-)

    about not saying stupid things(out loud)
    .

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:05:39 PM PST

  •  Bryant is surely the PRAT (4+ / 0-)

    who is rejoicing in no more legal abortions in his state?

    He may be stupid enough to think that this means no more abortions at all - and hasn't thought about coat hangers etc.....god he needs a dose of reality, perhaps daily and by mouth not intravenously, so that he notices it!!

  •  It's easier to talk about getting a better job (7+ / 0-)

    with better benefits if your career path has mostly consisted of failing upwards.

    Gawd, these people make me want to scream.  Clueless, out-of-touch assholes.

    •  Besides, those not-so-good jobs are jobs we (4+ / 0-)

      want done.  We want waitresses, we want retail clerks, etc., etc.  These are working people, and they deserve to have access to health care.

      •  Ding ding ding, we've got a winner! (5+ / 0-)

        It's easy to see academics as some sort of panacea for the job market, because there are indeed lots of good jobs that are only available to those who do well at academics. But, and this is a huge but, there's only so many of those jobs: they do not somehow expand to accommodate the number of people who are qualified to do them. That's because the number of jobs available in a particular field is based on the demand for those jobs, not the supply of candidates.

        If every single kid in this country got a PhD, there would still be people working at what we think of as shit jobs. That's not because some people aren't intelligent enough to do anything "better", it's because those jobs have to be done.  And the way I see it, if a job has to be done, then anybody who does that job has to be able to make a living doing it.

        Writing in all lower-case letters should be a capital offense

        by ebohlman on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 12:29:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Apparently the SOB is calling me a "nobody" (4+ / 0-)

    Guess that means I'm well within my rights in calling him an out of touch, delusional asshole.

    Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to #&@$ in the first place? - George Carlin

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:20:31 PM PST

  •  Wal*Mart Employees Depend on Medicaid (6+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:22:27 PM PST

  •  Gov. Bryant did make some great points, though. (4+ / 0-)

    He concluded:  "There is no one who doesn’t have health care in America. No one. Now, they may end up going to the emergency room."

    That is the premise to sustain the mandates in Obamacare (as Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out). "[T]he market for medical care is one in which all individuals inevitably participate." And because of Federal and state laws and medical professionals' responsibilities, our 50 million uninsured do eventually get care, the costs of which do not disappear but are shifted through higher prices onto others who are insured or pay directly.

    Gov. Bryant's emergency rooms are perfect examples of why we do need Obamacare. ERs are burdened - costing more, serving as providers of last resort, overcrowded because they do take everyone who needs ER care. Many of those patients would be much better served and much less expensively, beginning with preventive care  and routine medical work in neighborhood clinics and health centers and more medical professionals serving family health care needs. That is precisely why Medicare and Medicaid make so much sense.

    Even more compellingly, Gov. Bryant's words show us why the inevitable Republican proposals to replace Obamacare and M&M with block grants to states to do the work, will not work. The states will take the money but don't want the job.

    Governor Bryant, you've given us a teaching moment!

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:32:51 PM PST

  •  Strip them of their Health Care (6+ / 0-)

    Strip all government officials of their Health Care.

    Why should the tax payers be picking up that bill if health care is so easy to get and affordable?

    Let them "live the dream"and see how things are for the rest of us.

  •  About that trip to the ER.... (7+ / 0-)

    I make pretty good money.  I was doing it when "that trip" happened, and I got caught between a corporate bankruptcy and pre-existing conditions that denied me the ability to buy coverage.

    I wasn't even sick, but my wife was, and neither of us knew it.

    Then it happened.  The first time was 6 figures, a little over what I made in a year.  The second one was high fives, and the next few were big enough.

    So yeah, we had health care then.  Happened to live in a State where they don't just let people die too easy, and I had assets and such.

    Lost it all but for a used car people.  Life reset, plans, equity, all of it gone mid 40's, and again, I didn't even get sick.

    Nice coverage, if you consider just dying the alternative.

    There are days when I see these asses and can just barely contain my rage.  Heck, I don't even own a gun.  

    (not that I should, or would, or anything like that)

    Couple of implications to that whole mess.  What they don't tell you is that you get sucked dry, destroyed, marginalized, credit to the shitter, assets gone or lost due to lack of ability to pay and no real way to rebuild.

    Thought about self-employment to really double down on work to catch some of it back up.  Maybe when the exchanges kick in, I'll consider it, but right now there is no way.  I have to work for somebody, probably just the way they like it.

    Now this isn't a post for pity, or anything.  It's been a while and we landed reasonably OK.  I had helped a family member buy a duplex when I was doing well, and we can split that now.  Funny, when it all happened to us, I moved in and rented only to see that family member get the boot on what was a stable job, leaving me to pay the whole thing or we were all out on our asses!

    Republican policies are great, aren't they?

    Thought about minor league crime for a while.  Still do, but it's late enough in life to keep it off the table, but I do think about it, and I wonder just how fucked up our economic policy is to get me there.  Never been unemployed a day in my life, and that's still true!  

    Keep telling stories people.  Keep highlighting these asses for the soulless clowns they are.  Plenty of people get the shaft on this every day, and when they all talk, it's going to add up.

    *again, we came through and have options now, it's not all dark, not all bad, but it was life changing and really, really, stunningly ugly there for a while.

    This guy?  He wouldn't know.  Can't.  And that's the problem.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***
    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:43:09 PM PST

    •  I called nearly every day during that HC struggle (4+ / 0-)

      and I wondered the whole time too.

      Heard more bad than good about it, but down deep the mere idea of us getting started down that road trumped all the other garbage because I want the bad things happening to good people now to eventually stop.

      It will stop too.  Just takes time.

      ***Be Excellent To One Another***
      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:26:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The American healthcare odyssy: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        Even for tor those who start off as employed, home owners with money in the bank who did everything right according to these judgemental, out of touch sanctimonious idiots:

        Get Sick. Lose job. Lose health Insurance. Huge unpayable bills. Lose credit, lose house. Go bankrupt. Die from illness that is no longer treated. Or it's possible that at the bottom of the barrel one may qualify for Medicaid once all the assets are gone and is one is deemed unemployable due to disease or disability.

        But, if you happen to be one the ones who have hit this "lottery" of actually having some kind of public healthcare (Medicaid), you will be subjected for the rest of your miserable life listening to the above mentioned assholes telling everyone else that you are a gluttonous, lazy "taker" who isn't deserving of anything except death because you did not have the foresight to not get ill and become poor because of our inhumane, stupid, cruel, and idiotic American system of tying healthcare to employment and profit.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:06:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank God for Mississippi--No, not really (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    james321, Calamity Jean

    It's sad that MS is dead last in so many economic and social indicators.  The mentality of their elected officials like Gov. Bryant unfortunately doesn't help those who need it most.  

    •  MS also dead last in ratifying the 13th Amendment. (0+ / 0-)

      ... you know, the one that abolished slavery at the end of the Civil War.  In 1865.  When did Mississippi ratify it?  1995.  NINETEEN ninety-five.  Less than 20 years ago.  Sheesh.

      This .signature unintentionally left blank.

      by Avast Ye Swobbie on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 01:46:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For what it's worth (5+ / 0-)

    Probably 25 years ago, when I was a high school student in a "youth in government" internship, the party line from the local GOP was that there was no such thing as homelessness.  If you were homeless, the story went, you just had to present yourself to any governmental office (fed, state, municipality), and that office was required to place you in an appropriate shelter and set you up with benefits (food stamps, welfare was available at the time).  This is just a variation on a tale as old as time.

    Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

    by milton333 on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:31:07 PM PST

  •  There is no one in Mississippi (3+ / 0-)

    who doesn't have the worst elected officials in the nation.
    If Mississippi were a separate nation, it would be ranked just above North Korea and just below Burma for "effective leadership."

  •  In a normal educated organized society (3+ / 0-)

    making such outrageous false statements would be seen as insulting to most of the population , and the person would be shunned in shame , in america it is a political party that can win major elections , with masses cheering their own demise

     disgusting  

    the former slave states are basically disgruntled little nazi societies

  •  For certain definitions of "healthcare", perhaps. (3+ / 0-)

    I think that Steve Benen from the Maddow blog did a good job of tackling this particular fallacy.

    To quote the relevant portion:

    It's true that under the preferred Republican system -- the U.S. system before the Affordable Care Act became law -- if you were uninsured and get sick, you could probably find public hospitals that would provide treatment.

    It is, however, extremely expensive to treat patients this way. It's far cheaper -- and more medically effective -- to pay for preventative care so that people don't have to wait for a medical emergency to seek treatment.

    For that matter, when sick people with no insurance go to the E.R. for care, they often can't pay their bills. Those costs are ultimately spread around to everyone else -- effectively creating the most inefficient system of socialized medicine ever devised.

    (emphasis mine)
  •  Because they have vested interests to the (0+ / 0-)

    contrary.  There's no point in beating a horse that doesn't want to go down that path.

    Acceleration is a thrill, but velocity gets you there

    by CarolinNJ on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:24:05 PM PST

  •  ignorance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Desert Rose, Calamity Jean

    How do ignorant people like this get elected?? It just amazes me how stupid a lot of the elected government officials are!!!

    •  MS has the highest rate of poverty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, Calamity Jean

      of any other state, so the gov. is either lying or stupid.  I go with the lying motive. (Particularly, because I live in AZ with another lying governor.)  It also looks like only 54% of registered voters turned out in that election, with 3% less Republicans voting than previous elections. (Romneybot unlikeable).

      MS needs a Dem. GOTV effort.

      Research Shows Poverty Creates the Biggest Achievement Gap.

      by Desert Rose on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 04:42:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Governor of the poorest state is a selfish (2+ / 0-)

    Mississippi has long been one of the sickest and poorest states in America, with some of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease and more than 1 in 7 residents without insurance. And so you might think Mississippi would jump at the prospect of billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid.

    You'd be wrong.

    Leaders of the deeply conservative state say that even if Mississippi receives boatloads of cash under President Barack Obama's health care law, it can't afford the corresponding share of state money it will have to put up to add hundreds of thousands of people to the government health insurance program for the poor.

    "While some people say Obamacare will come as an economic boost with `free' money, the reality is simple: No money is free," said Republican Gov. Phil Bryant. "Since when did the federal government ever give free money without asking for something in return?"

     He ready to takes government money quick enough for National Disaster, but not care for the poor of us.

    2011, 48.6 million Americans had no health insurance, according to the most recent census data. Among those who do have coverage, many still can't afford medical care so they skip it. The truth is, there's a health care access problem and it's been getting worse. And Mississippi has the fifth-highest rate of uninsured residents in the nation: 19 percent.

    Some advocates suspect the governors' stand is not about the money at all, but about politics, saying the Republicans are using the Medicaid issue to attack the Obama administration.

  •  Suffering and death are the motivators to find new (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    work?

  •  Mississippi operates like a 3rd world country, and (0+ / 0-)

    its social indicators prove that is true.

  •  Now we are saying, you can have a job and still... (0+ / 0-)

    This is the crux of the problem, isn't it? What an ass!

  •  There Are Better Ways to Provide Healthcare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    We need publicly-funded healthcare. That means a national system that pays for all essential healthcare out of a progressive tax. This would eliminate the need for Medicaid because everyone would be covered.

    The disease that kills the most people in this country is heart disease. How much healthcare does the emergency room provide for heart disease? They provide the 1% of it that happens while you are dying.

    Perhaps Governor Bryant could explain how his remarks square with reality.

  •  kids can work. (0+ / 0-)

    Just need to tweak the laws a bit.

  •  And it's worse than every other Western nation! (0+ / 0-)
    As a member of the panel that produced the report, I hope that wide awareness of these disturbing findings will lead to reflection and public debate about what we as a nation need to do to turn this dismal situation around.

    I also wish to add a point not noted in the article: that the United States’ “health disadvantage” is seen even when examining whites and high-income people alone. Minorities and the poor do have worse health and shorter lives, but our panel concluded that the problems producing the American health disadvantage affect all Americans adversely.

    http://theincidentaleconomist.com/...

    More depressing graphs of international comparisons of health outcomes - if only they had compared Mississippi against other countries instead of including the other 49! http://theincidentaleconomist.com/...

  •  "Let them go to the ER" (0+ / 0-)

    Is the new "Let them eat cake".

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