The Conservative Death Panel
It’s time to kick the bums out of office. Right now, millions of Americans across 23 states are uninsured, because their Republican lawmakers have refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. As a result, they fall into the “Red State Donut Hole,” that was drilled into Obamacare by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and his four right-wing buddies. The Supreme Court said that states could refuse to take federal money to pay to insure working poor people, and Republican governs have jumped at the opportunity.
Millions of Americans are unable to afford life-saving healthcare, because Republicans would rather play politics than protect people’s lives. In fact, the rate of uninsured Americans is a staggering 50% higher in Republican-controlled states. In Florida alone, 750,000 Floridians are without insurance, because Rick Scott thought that a political win was more important than a person’s life. Harvard researchers estimate that six people in Florida die every day because of Governor Scott’s decision.
Charlene Dill was one of them. Charlene was a hardworking single mom, who worked three jobs to help make ends meet. Last year, Charlene made just $11,000 cleaning houses and babysitting. She used that money to help put food on the table for her children, and to put a roof over their heads. Charlene also had a severe heart condition, but she couldn’t afford the proper treatment for it, because she didn’t have health insurance.
Despite her health woes, Charlene continued to work three jobs, and continued to be the best mother that she could be for her children. But then one day late last month, when she was in a neighbor's house trying to sell a vacuum cleaner, Charlene died from her untreated heart disease. She died because multimillionaire Rick Scott chose to play politics, rather than protect the lives of the Florida citizens he is supposed to be serving.
But now, it looks like people are figuring out how sick and twisted this Republican political strategy is. New polling suggests that Republican opposition to Obamacare, and to expanding Medicaid for millions of Americans, is a losing strategy. Recent polling carried out by Public Policy Polling shows that Republican governors in five states who have opposed expanding Medicaid under Obamacare are in serious danger of losing their bids for re-election.
Maine Governor Paul LePage and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett are both losing in the polls right now, while Georgia Governor Nathan Barrow and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback are also losing out to Democratic challengers. Voters in all four of those states overwhelmingly want their governors to expand Medicaid.
Meanwhile, in Florida, polling shows that by a 58-33 percent margin, Floridians want Rick Scott to stop playing politics with people's lives, and to accept federal funding for Medicaid expansion. Right now, Rick Scott is losing out to Democratic challenger and former Florida governor Charlie Crist by a 49-42 margin.
That’s because Floridians realize that not only should all Floridians have access to affordable and life-saving healthcare, but that states that have refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare have to give up $35 billion in federal funding in 2016. That’s a ton of money. But let’s hope that these polling numbers aren’t just numbers, and that they turn into results come November.
Because, if Republicans across the country play politics with people’s lives, there will be thousands of more stories like Charlene Dill’s. A study by researchers at Harvard University and the City University of New York found that as many as 17,000 Americans will die this year directly as a result of Republican states refusing to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. We can prevent those deaths.
On November 4th, 2014, millions of us will go to the polls, and we'll have a choice: re-elect Republican lawmakers who care more about politics than people’s lives, or kick them out of office, and let Democrats expand Medicaid, so that millions more Americans will have access to affordable and life-saving healthcare.
Let’s stop the Republican's life-and-death political game, so that there don’t have to be any more mothers like Charlene Dill who die unnecessarily.