South Carolina Activists Fight for Medicaid Expansion from Jail

via PBS
via PBS

Monday, eleven of roughly two dozen protesters were arrested by Columbia, South Carolina police for blocking the entrance to the State House parking garage. The actions took place during a demonstration to get people to push for the reversal of the extraordinarily ill-advised politicized state rejection of the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid. This newspaper site tells the story in some detail. Pay special attention to the video statements of Moore and Bursey.

In any event these fearless activist did what they had to in order to draw attention to the dark ages conduct of the South Carolina legislature, its absurd governor and the director of South Carolina Health and Human Services, Tony Keck, the “Chainsaw-Al” of health care.

You’ll recall how corporate nutbag, Albert J. Dunlap, earned that well-deserved sobriquet, “Chainsaw Al.” As a company CEO, Dunlap took fiendish delight in taking a symbolic chainsaw to huge masses of employees, fired in one swooping cut. Keck, as the Dunlap of health care, wants to take a chainsaw to every Obama health care initiative, no matter now beneficial to the citizens of South Carolina.

Keck’s special target is the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He wants to take his agency’s “Chainsaw” and rip ACA into tiny little pieces. Of course expansion of Medicaid is part of that effort. For states that stayed with the expansion, the tab will be picked up by the feds for the first three years and federal contribution will never be less than 90% in perpetuity. That’s like somebody making your car or mortgage payments for three years, and then tapering off to 90% until they’re paid off. And you’d tell them to ‘take a hike’ so you could pay the entire amount? Of course not.

Unlike losing your job under Dunlop, there’s a very real possibility that over a thousand people a year could lose their lives in South Carolina under Keck and Governor Nikki Haley. An estimate by Physicians for a National Health Program has put the national number as high as 17,000 annually from the opt-out states.

Frankly, if some industrious lawyer were to draw a line from Keck. Governor Haley and the legislature’s actions to the deaths of those denied expanded Medicaid, we could easily see a spate of multi-million dollar civil lawsuits. If a spouse or child of mine died as a consequence of Keck, Haley and others countermanding an existing federal law, I’d pursue every avenue available to me to have them arrested for, at the very least, manslaughter, up to premeditated murder.

Whether arrested or not, I’d sue him, her and their hateful band of elected radicals for every penny they had or would ever hope to have. Money is the only thing that drives these unfeeling, faux-Christians, ever dismissive of the poor and pretty much anybody earning less that $100,000 a year. Let’s relieve them of their real religion, their most precious spiritual possession. Cowering behind the shield of the bible as a defense for banishing the poor to a life of perpetual struggle, I guess they missed the roughly three-dozen sympathetic biblical references to the poor.

There’s this one from Luke 14:13…”But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” I guess the feast of Medicaid coverage doesn’t count for today’s thumpers. I also like to wander through the biblical orchards of Luke 6:20-26, plucking out such sweet fruit as “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Or how about the tasty “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” Looks like sour Perdition awaits!

Feel what it’s like to rot in this society. A society that can claim the largest gap between the richest and poorest in the WORLD!!! And sleazy Republican strategist and Tea Party propagandists can actually sell the “redistribution of wealth” fable to red state sycophants, and those same red staters will vote for Republican extremists because they swallow the fairy tale, actually knowing nothing of where the true massive wealth resides.

At this point, you might reasonably ask where the state’s Democratic Party Chairman, Jaime Harrison stands on this demonstration. Have we heard Harrison voice his solid and unequivocal praise and backing for the demonstrators? Has he used the widely covered and attention grabbing actions of the courageous activists as a springboard to call attention to those Democrats announcing and filing for office through the month of March, the deadline for plunking down a fee to try to reverse the course to oblivion that Republicans have set for a once-proud state.

Where is the South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman at this critical juncture? Well, he’s in China. What’s he doing in China? His office claims not to know. Exactly where in China is he? His office claims not to know. The chairman of the state party goes to China and his office doesn’t know how to get in touch with him? I did get an estimate of his date of return, March 12. I was told any information about time, place and purpose would have to come from The Podesta Group. Aha! So that’s the story. Chairman Harrison is somewhere in China at the behest of the uber-powerful lobbying firm most likely taking in some conference or trade meeting, maybe APAC where Secretary of State Kerry was parked with a trade delegation prior to the Ukraine mess; maybe APEC, the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation in Ningbo.

Who knows? There were probably a half-dozen destinations where Harrison could have been dispatched. I have little doubt that the mysterious Trans-Pacific Partnership could most likely be a topic of conversation or, perhaps Harrison and his delegation were playing a little political tag with issues where the Chinese sought favorable treatment by Congress. He could even have been pitching the home sweet home for Chinese factories seeking right to work, low-wage, pollution-encouraging third-world states.

Will we ever find out the purpose of the chairman’s nearly three-week trip? I searched the Internet high and low for an answer and even made a bunch of phone calls, including a couple to a lady named “Missi” Tessier. She’s the head of Podesta’s PR practice. It’s her job to keep nosy, white-trash
callers like me from any contact with the company.

After some calls to “Missi” and no return calls, it became clear that “Missi” lacked even the minimal civility to call me and tell me she wouldn’t talk to me. Oh, you’ll get a kick out of this one. On “Missi’s” Podesta site CV, she’s credited with having “ushered in policy victories that protected consumers from soaring insurance costs.” ROTFLMAO!!! And Missi was once the principal spokesperson for the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Why, she’s even fluent in French. In that case:

“Pourriez-vous me rappeler dès que possible s’il vous plait.”
South Carolina politics need retooling from the top down. Brett Bursey is one of the few people in a position of some power that I trust. Here’s his organization’s homepage.
Emulate Brett’s ceaseless involvement for the cause and whatever you do, VOTE!

Update: More intrigue. But first, I want to clear up that Harrison is a Principal lobbyist for Podesta. Here’s the intrigue. The Columbia State Newspaper ran an article quoting Harrison on a story of a Democratic candidate dropping out of the Superintendent of Education race. Harrison’s supposedly in China. How did the reporter contact him? I’ve emailed her that query. I called Harrison’s assistant who continues to insist that he is, indeed, still in China for about 5-6 more days.

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One Reply to “South Carolina Activists Fight for Medicaid Expansion from Jail”

  1. I am so very proud of people who stand behind their convictions. I am 63 now, but I sure do remember storming the Governor of California’s office. What a proud day that was. I hope justice prevails in regards to their activism.

    You want “death panels” ?
    Look no further than the majority of Republican Governors.

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