fresh voices from the front lines of change







The city of Texarkana sits on the border of Texas and Arkansas. Arkansas expanded Medicaid under Obamacare but in Texas Republicans blocked it. Meanwhile in Virginia, Republicans bribed a Democratic senator to resign, enabling Republicans to block people from getting health care. How far they will go?

The New York Times’ story, “In Texarkana, Uninsured and on the Wrong Side of a State Line,” says that people on the Arkansas side are getting health care now.

On the Texas side, though, it’s business as usual. “It makes me mad,” said Mr. Miller, who is not receiving any federal benefits at the moment despite his array of illnesses. “They need to quit playing games with people’s lives. Rich people. Government people.”

Rich people and Republicans in government (there’s a difference?) playing games with people’s lives, fighting hard to keep them from getting health care. Just wow.

Deadly Serious Games In Virginia

In Virginia the rich-people-government-people Republicans are playing a very serious game with people’s lives. The Huffington Post headline tells the story: “GOP Straight Up Bribes Democratic Senator In Effort To Block Obamacare.”

The Republican Party in Virginia has resorted to what appears to be outright bribery in its ongoing effort to deny low-income residents in the state access to the Medicaid expansion authorized by Obamacare.

The Washington Post is reporting that Republicans offered to move Democratic state Sen. Phillip P. Puckett and his daughter into prestigious jobs in exchange for Puckett’s resignation, which will flip the chamber into Republican hands. Puckett will officially accept the offer on Monday, the paper reported.

Summary: In exchange for a judgeship for his daughter and appointment as deputy director of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission for himself, Virginia Democratic State Senator Puckett is resigning. His resignation means that Republicans will now control Virginia’s State Senate and can now block Medicaid expansion. This means that Virginia’s poorer citizens – approximately 400,000 people – will not be able to get affordable health care. This shows just how far the rich-people-government-people Republicans will go.

(Compare this to the Karl Rove/Republican-arranged prosecution for bribery and resulting seven-year prison sentence of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, a Democrat. Siegelman was convicted of giving a non-paying job to someone in exchange for contributions to a campaign for a state lottery to fund education programs. (?!))

“Chilling” New Documentary

A new documentary, “Entitled to Life,” is “attempting to put a personal face on the politically contentious issue of Medicaid expansion.” The story is told in Progressive Democrats of America’s “Chilling Documentary Looks At The Deadly Consequences Of Denying Medicaid Coverage“:

Like more than 20 other states across the country, Utah hasn’t yet agreed to accept generous federal funds to extend public insurance to additional low-income residents who don’t currently qualify for Medicaid. “Entitled to Life” makes the case that the human cost is too great to continue resisting this Obamacare provision.

Paul Gibbs, the independent filmmaker who made the new documentary, is personally invested in the issue because he’s seen the benefits of Medicaid coverage firsthand. Five years ago, when he was struggling to put himself through film school — in addition to working part time and caring for his niece and nephew — he was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure.


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