When the Roberts' majority struck down the section of the Affordable Care Act penalizing states that refuse to expand the Medicaid program, most health care experts downplayed the import of the decision, arguing that Republican governors and legislators would be insane to turn down free money — the federal government will pay 90% of the costs of expansion (100% in the first three years) – to insure their populations.
Which raises the question: Have any of these policy health wonks ever met a Republican lawmaker? Because this morning, Rick Perry made Texas the 5th state to promise to reject Medicaid expansion, joining the likes of Lousiana's Bobby Jindal, who argued that Obamacare would pave the way for Michelle Obama's tofu tax mandate.
As of now, there's no tofu mandate, but it's increasingly likely that poor citizens of red states will not be getting any new health care beyond the mandatory broccoli we've all heard so much about. I'm reminded of an old family saying: When life hands you broccoli, you should roast it, because raw broccoli is fucking disgusting. Here's what you do…
* Heat your oven to a temperature the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's scarier models predict is in our future. 425 degrees will do.
* Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Add minced garlic. Toss with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Spread the broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
* Roast in the oven until the broccoli is brown-ish enough that it would be ineligible to vote in Mississippi or Florida. Approximately 20 minutes should do it.
Stay healthy and enjoy!
Photo by Adam Hester/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Tags: Bobby Jindal, Food, Health, Health Care, Medicaid, Rick Perry
Exciting news! The stay in God's waiting room got a little bit shorter, according to officials from the Centers for Disease Control.
This time, the culprit is not a zombie cannibal who has taken the South Beach diet a step too far and begun eating the protein-laden faces of homeless people. Instead, the problem is tuberculosis, because why the hell not? We already have debtors' prisons and calls for the re-establishment of child labor, so an outbreak of consumption among our country's most vulnerable populations is a nice touch for the Dickensian theme park our politicians are hellbent on creating.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the CDC issued a report alerting Florida health officials to the worst tuberculosis outbreak in 20 years, which has been linked to 13 deaths and 99 illnesses. The report came just days after Florida Governor Rick Scott signed legislation to downsize the state's Department of Health and shut down A.G. Holley State Hospital, the only T.B. hospital in Florida.
It's all part of Scott's plan to make government small enough so that it could be drowned in
a bathtubthe consumptive mucous of Floridians exposed to an out-of-control drug resistant strain of T.B. Which explains why the response to the CDC report involved a speed up in the closure of the hospital…
As health officials in Tallahassee turned their focus to restructuring, Dr. Robert Luo's 25-page report describing Jacksonville's outbreak — and the measures needed to contain it — went unseen by key decision makers around the state. At the health agency, an order went out that the TB hospital must be closed six months ahead of schedule.
Had they seen the letter, decision makers would have learned that 3,000 people in the past two years may have had close contact with contagious people at Jacksonville’s homeless shelters, an outpatient mental health clinic and area jails. Yet only 253 people had been found and evaluated for TB infection, meaning Florida’s outbreak was, and is, far from contained.
At least the rest of the country will be well prepared for similar contingencies…
The recession has battered public health; across the country, local and state health departments have shed 52,200 jobs since 2009. Despite resources from the stimulus and the Affordable Care Act aiming to bolster the public health workforce, it has about 20 percent fewer workers than it did four years ago. Forty-one percent of local health departments expect to make even more cuts this year, according to the National Association of County and City Health Officials.
Oh, good. We wouldn't want to anger the T.B. with any kind of government spending. I hear microbes hate that.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Florida, Health, Health Care, Rick Scott
Gouverneur Morris' name may not fall as easily from pundits' mouths as Founding Fathers like Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin, but his life story is still incredibly impressive. He served as a Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 — giving more speeches than any other delegate — and wrote large chunks of the U.S. Constitution, to which he would eventually add his signature.
And then there's also the matter of his death…
In 1816, [Gouverneur] Morris died after sticking a piece of whale bone through his urinary tract to relieve a blockage. He died at the family estate, Morrisania, and was buried at St. Ann's Church in the The Bronx.
Keep that in mind the next time somebody corners you with a lecture on the infalible wisdom of the Founding Fathers. Which is not to say that Morris was not in fact wise. It's just to say that even the wisest amongst us sometimes stick whale bones up our dick holes.
Tags: Constitution, Founding Fathers, Gouverneur Morris, Health
Chris Collins — candidate for New York's 27th district – on the miracles of modern medicine…
"People now don't die from prostate cancer, breast cancer and some of the other things."
Oh, did we figure those out?! That must have happened on one of my days off! All right! Go humanity! Man, those cancer things were a bitch, weren't they. Last I heard, they were killing tens of thousands of people a year. So, needless to say, I'm pretty happy with this new development.
Now, if we can only cure getting hit by a semi truck while walking drunkenly across the interstate, we'll be home free.
Tags: Health, Health Care, House of Representatives, New York, Quote Unquote
Prior to the Supreme Court's ruling, conservatives had an easy time making the distinction between Romneycare — a freedom-enhancing program in which Medicaid was expanded to cover more low-income people, subsidies were provided to individuals buying private insurance on a state-regulated exchange and everyone was required to purchase insurance or face a fine — and Obamacare, a socialist program of government overreach in which faceless bureaucrats would shove broccoli down the throats of God-fearing, red meat-eating Americans by expanding Medicaid, setting up insurance exchanges, and requiring everyone to buy health coverage.
The difference was that the state-based Massachusetts program was constitutional while the federal program jack-booted unconstitutional tyranny. Now that this distinction has been obviated, conservative supporters of Mitt Romney, like Florida's Marco Rubio are proclaiming other differences…
Romney "supported it on the state level. Which means if you didn't like it in Massachusetts, you could move to another state," Rubio said on Bloomberg Television. "What are people supposed to do? Leave the United States now because of Barack Obama’s brilliant idea to stick the IRS on millions of people?
Why not? Yesterday on Twitter, dozens of freedom-seekers proclaimed their desire to move to Canada to seek asylum from affordable health coverage. You can see the problem.
As a refugee of the former USSR, I'm uniquely sympathetic to the plight of those who seek to escape tyranny. Here then are some places where the government will let you die with your precious pre-existing condition in peace…
Tags: Health, Health Care, Marco Rubio, Somalia