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Poor Americans are Paying the Price for Red States Opting Out of the ACA
One of the tragedies of war is the unintended or accidental killing of innocent civilians, and in military parlance, it is called collateral damage. There are plenty of instances where collateral damage is intentional to eradicate a specific population whether it is a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group and when successful it is genocide. Most people cite the Adolf Hitler’s attempt to exterminate Jews as the world’s worst example of genocide, and it is mainly due to the staggering numbers the Nazis systematically rounded up and killed. It is unfathomable for most Americans to consider that there would ever be genocide in this country, and yet there is a concerted effort by Republicans to systematically kill off a segment of the population based on socioeconomic status and race.
According to the United Nations, genocide is “killing members, causing serious bodily or mental harm, or deliberately inflicting conditions that are calculated to bring about the physical destruction in whole or in part of a specific group.” By vehemently opposing providing every American access to quality affordable healthcare, Republicans are deliberately inflicting conditions to bring about physical destruction of 30-million Americans and they have had a measure of success in Florida that portends catastrophic consequences for the entire population, but in their war on the poor, Republicans most likely are comfortable with collateral damage to large numbers of Americans, rich and poor.
Reports detailing Florida’s cover-up of an outbreak of tuberculosis in African American men that has spread to the general population is a good example of what happens when Republicans eliminate funding for health care. Nine days prior a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning about the tuberculosis outbreak, Florida governor Rick Scott signed a bill downsizing the Department of Health and closing the hospital that treated tuberculosis cases for over half-a-century. The CDC warned Florida to address the outbreak in April, but since health officials believed only “the underclass” was infected, they concealed the outbreak and withheld alerting the public until June, but by that time, the outbreak had spread into the general population. Most of the Floridians who were first infected were poor, uninsured African American men, and it should be a warning to Republicans who are refusing to implement the Affordable Care Act that their attempted genocide has far-reaching implications for every person in America.
As more states with Republican governors and majorities in legislatures refuse to implement the ACA with the help of template legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), it is obvious that their goal is exterminating the so-called underclass. The Draconian budget cuts in Florida are being repeated across the nation and as usual, it is the poorest Americans who are paying the price. When states opt out of the ACA and Medicaid expansion, they prevent children, senior citizens, and working poor from receiving any healthcare services and it is in effect a death sentence for 58 million Americans who depend on Medicaid for their healthcare.
There has been a concerted effort by Republicans to exterminate 46.2 million Americans (2010 count) who live at or below the federal poverty line by eliminating food, housing, and healthcare assistance to over 16% of the population. However, as the Florida case demonstrates, infectious diseases do not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status and as more poverty-level Americans face the prospect of no healthcare services, the chances of diseases spreading to the general population skyrocket, but collateral damage must be acceptable in the Republican genocide of the poor. In fact, killing off the poor solves many problems Republicans face in their race to transform America into a religious plutocracy by eliminating the need to implement voter suppression laws, privatize Medicare, and their perpetual fight to eradicate social safety net spending to make room for more tax cuts for the wealthy. It is a dream scenario for Republicans, and as a value-added bonus, eradicating the poor means they never have to concern themselves with a Democrat-leaning voting bloc or purging minorities to ensure America returns to its European (white) roots. The GOP claim their reason for opposing the ACA is based on religious liberty, fiscal responsibility, personal freedom, and tyranny by the President, but their real intention is killing off the poor by keeping them sick. If they were not trying to kill off the poor by restricting access to healthcare, they would have a plan to replace the ACA and by their own admission, they have no plans to provide healthcare for 30 million Americans who at some point will spread infectious diseases throughout the population before they die off.
The Republicans will never admit their anti-healthcare, anti-food stamp, or opposition to social safety nets is genocide, but they have given the public plenty of clues that they consider the poor a drain on society. Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Willard Romney have went to great lengths to outline their plans for America that includes eliminating government programs that assist the poor that Ryan labels “takers” to make room for entitlement spending on the richest Americans he calls the “makers.” Romney said he is “not concerned about the very poor,” and proves it by promising to eliminate social safety net spending to expedite their demise for lack of healthcare, food, and housing assistance. This week Republicans in Congress will attempt to pass a farm bill that cuts off food stamps for millions of Americans who own a car, and restrict poor children from receiving free or reduced-price school meals, and it probably makes sense to kill off children who may grow up to be Democratic voters.
The events in Florida that led to an outbreak of highly infectious tuberculosis spreading to the general population is a warning to the rest of the country that in attempting to kill off the poor by denying healthcare services, Republicans are jeopardizing the health of the entire population. If the problem was confined to one state with a murderous governor it would be bad enough, but more Republicans are using ALEC’s template legislation to opt out of and eventually repeal the ACA that not only provides healthcare to tens-of-millions of uninsured Americans, it reduces the deficit and the cost of health insurance for the rest of the country. By now though, it is obvious Republicans are not concerned with a healthy population because as Mitch McConnell said , providing access to healthcare for 30 million Americans “is not the issue, improving the American health care system is” and it obviously is reserved for the wealthy because Republicans have no plans to improve anything except the insurance industry’s profit margin.
For the past year-and-a-half Republicans have waged war on women, gays, minorities, and children and they have made no secret that their war on the poor will not stop until they have killed them all off. For over thirty years, Republicans have resisted any legislation to help the American people who are not in the wealthiest 1% of income earners, and they have actively opposed food, heating, housing, and now healthcare assistance as their final solution of eradicating the poor. It transcends a war on the poor, and they are “deliberately inflicting conditions that are calculated to bring about the physical destruction” of an entire segment of the population that just happen to be living in poverty and by definition is genocide. What is most disturbing, is that like Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Republicans are being assisted by large numbers of Christians who oppose giving every American access to healthcare, and the similarities to Nazi Germany do not stop there. Part and parcel of the Republican support for genocide is the perpetual repetition of the lies to garner support for their opposition to the ACA, and the tactic comes from Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels who said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the consequences of the lie.” In Florida last month, the people learned the consequences of the Republican lie that cutting healthcare spending is good for the people, and yet there are still a large number of Floridians who oppose healthcare spending who now face the very real possibility that they will contract tuberculosis.
Conservatives, teabaggers, and Republicans are wont to portray President Obama as a Nazi, but it is Republicans who have followed the model and tactics of Adolf Hitler down to his final solution of exterminating an entire group of people he considered a drain on the country. Republicans are not rounding up the poor and marching them into ovens, but they are doing the next best thing by starving them and guaranteeing they will suffer ill-health and eventually die. Unfortunately, in their drive to kill off the poor, they are jeopardizing the health and welfare of every American who faces the prospect of an epidemic of national proportions because Republicans insist on preventing the poor from receiving basic healthcare, and it is just another example of the abject contempt for the American people by genocidal Republicans.