“If people are in superbad poverty, that’s one thing,” says state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, the state’s most vocal supporter of dropping out of Medicaid and a candidate for speaker of the House. “It breaks my heart when there’s someone who smokes, and who stays drunk half the time, and we’re supposed to provide their health care.”
The question is not whether you can afford health care, the question is whether or not you deserve health care. If Warren Chisum and his ideological soulmates don’t approve of how you live, then you’re just SOL. One wonders what else one must do or not do to pass muster with Chisum. Are you too fat? Don’t eat your vegetables? Don’t get enough exercise? Watch too much TV? No health care for you! I just wonder how many of Chisum’s colleagues in the Lege would measure up.
For a guy whose party claims it wants to get out of people’s lives, that sure is some impressive nanny stating. As blaming the victim is a lot easier than trying to help him or her, which they clearly don’t want to do, you can be sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of this in the coming months. I’ll say it again, if we Democrats can’t make the Republicans own every bit of this, we need to really take a hard look at just what the hell it is we’re doing.
Finally, I can’t let this go without marveling at how spectacularly un-Christian Chisum’s attitude is. Here’s a guy who’s built a career on pushing legislation that’s anti-gay, anti-abortion, and anti-divorce because of his proclaimed moral beliefs. I challenge you to find any aspect of Jesus’ teachings that is consistent with the idea that only those who are free of sin are deserving of help. If this is what it means to be “moral”, then I’ll take my chances with depravity.