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Gov. Chris Christie: Earn $6,000 A Year? No Medicaid For You!

If you live in the state of New Jersey and are earning $118 a week, congratulations!

According to Gov. Chris Christie, you have escaped the bonds of poverty and no longer are in need of the state’s Medicaid program.

Never mind that $118 a week is but a fraction of the poverty line as defined by the United States of America. Pay no attention to the fact that New Jersey battles California for the mantle of having the highest cost of living of any state in the nation.

Chris Christie, everyone’s favorite no-nonsense, “tell it like it is” governor, has decided that you can manage quite nicely on this paltry sum while remaining fully capable of paying for your own medical care.

Sound like a joke?

It’s not. And it is difficult to imagine anything less humorous. Under the Christie plan, adults with a family of four who earn more than $6,000 a year would no longer qualify for the state’s Medicaid program. Currently, the cut-off to qualify is $30,000.

Think about that for a moment.

A single mother raising three kids on a weekly salary of $118 will no longer be eligible to take advantage of the medical social safety net should she fall ill.

I can hear my conservative friends rising in chorus – mom should have thought about that before having all those kids she couldn’t afford! Maybe she should have. If only there were some place these women could turn to for family planning advice so that they might avoid this problem.

But wait – there is such a program in New Jersey. Or, to be more precise, there was such a program in New Jersey. It turns out that women’s clinics are disappearing from the New Jersey landscape as Governor Christie uses the budget pen to wipe out women’s health programs that might also provide abortion services as a small part of what they make available to women so badly in need of their health care and counseling services. This, despite the fact that no state or federal taxpayer money went towards paying for any such abortion services long before Christie began his assault on women’s health.

In his last budget, Christy sliced $7.5 million from family planning clinics – a cut his new budget proudly continues. As a result, health and planning services so vital to low income women are becoming very hard to find in New Jersey- not to mention the many other states where Governors are using the budget to enact their social, anti-abortion agenda’s.

What do we call powerful people when they pick on the weakest among us?

We call them bullies. And Governor Chris Christie exemplifies the modern-day bully. Is it any wonder, then, that the GOP sees Christie as the man they would so gladly follow into the 2012 election battle?

Christie’s proposal to cut over $500 million from the state’s Medicaid program would not only affect parents earning far too little to support their families. Some of the deepest cuts would leave seniors, who require full-time, in-facility nursing home care, literally out in the cold as the funding that supports their ability to get the medical attention they need disappears.

I suppose these elderly can move back into the homes of their children – many of whom are the ones earning over $6,000 a year, but well below the national poverty line, who will no longer be able to care for their own health needs let another find a way to pay for the care of their sick parents.

There is some good news in this otherwise bleak story.

Come 2014, when the federal government steps in to play a larger role in financing the state Medicaid programs (they already pay for about half of the costs), it will be illegal for these people to be denied care. Accordingly, all these folks need do is see to it they do not get sick between now and 2014.

How hard can this be?

As New Jersey U.S. Senator Robert Menendez put it, “The state is effectively telling these families to wait until 2014 to get coverage again. Unfortunately, there is no
such thing as a waiver for getting cancer.” Certainly, some deal can be cut between man, woman and God resulting in that cancer scheduled to show up next year holding off until 2014 when care will be available.

And how much damage can uncontrolled diabetes really do when untreated for a three year period? So, maybe you lose a couple of toes as the diabetes ravages your body.

As Chris Christie would no doubt remind you, forfeiting a few digits for the common good of wealthy millionaires for whom Christie continues to cut taxes, is a small price to pay.

After all, those tax cuts might just result in your getting a better job in the future – assuming you’re still alive.

And if you aren’t, at least you will die in the knowledge that you will have given your life to improve Chris Christie’s chances of becoming President of these United States some day.

So, at least you’ve got that going for you.

By: Rick Ungar, The Policy Page, Forbes, June 12, 2011

June 13, 2011 - Posted by | Affordable Care Act, Class Warfare, Conservatives, Consumers, Elections, Equal Rights, GOP, Gov Chris Christie, Government, Health Care, Health Reform, Ideologues, Ideology, Medicaid, Middle Class, Planned Parenthood, Politics, Public Health, Republicans, Right Wing, Seniors, States, Taxes, Under Insured, Unemployed, Uninsured, Wealthy, Women, Women's Health, Womens Rights | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The word outrage is thrown around way too much, but in this instance it’s appropriate. Makes you wonder if these conservatives have souls.

    Like

    Comment by kip152 | June 13, 2011 | Reply


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