The Arizona legislature has struck another blow for conservatism! They have killed a program which provides health insurance to children in low income families, although it is paid for entirely by the federal government. The program called KidsCare provides vital services such as medical, dental, and vision insurance to at least 30,000 children in the state under age 19. It costs $50 to insure a child for a month and every state in the union has a similar program now excepting Arizona. Ayn Rand would be proud! Because if it is one thing that Republicans reflexively know it is that people who are dependent on government services are freeloaders.
Mitt Romney made his famous 47% remark.
"All right, there are 47 percent who are with him (Obama), who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what... These are people who pay no income tax..."[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
This philosophy apparently applies to children under 19 years old from low income families as well because now they have no access to medical care in Arizona unless visiting emergency rooms and being stuck with the resultant huge medical bills that will keep their families in debt into perpetuity. Of course years ago in her contest against Senator Harry Reid, the Republican senate candidate from nearby Nevada said people could barter for medical expenses with chickens. Of course, her plan never caught on and no chickens strutting around doctor's waiting rooms have been observed. Perhaps the doctors just aren't hungry!
Now conservatism is no stranger to authoritarianism. Conservatives in the Arizona legislature have already threatened to defund the courts by six million dollars unless the governor gets to pack the state supreme court with an additional two appointees of his choosing increasing the number of justices from five to seven. This blackmail would guarantee conservatives could use their majority to pass any legislation they please unfettered by democratic checks and balances.
Now what is the grand reason behind denying children in the state access to health care? Is it that the state is deeply in debt and can not afford it? Well, besides the program again being free to the state through 2017 and perhaps 2019, Arizona has a $600 million dollar budget surplus. Republican Governor Doug Ducey simply has a philosophical disagreement with accepting federal dollars for health insurance. Can one imagine denying health care to children for such a flimsy ideological predisposition built upon little but meanness?
According to the Daily Kos: "In his 2014 run for governor, Ducey questioned the financial viability of the Medicaid program. As governor, he introduced a Medicaid reform plan that would kick 350,000 people off the rolls." Imagine your legacy as governor being that you made sure 350,000 and the state's low income children had no medical coverage. As a conservative such cold, calculating actions usually propel a run for the presidency.
The Daily Kos continues:
"They did say "Yes" to Gov. Ducey's $21 million Border Strike Force, and they appropriated $5 million for three right-wing university think tanks seeded with Koch Brothers cash--money the schools did not request. But authorizing no state money for children was too much to ask. (The senate vote was 25-24 with 11 GOP cowards not voting because their sick political philosophy wouldn't allow them to say "Yes" to the feds, i.e., Obama.)"
Funding border strike forces at a time when illegal immigration from Mexico is at its lowest point in two decades! Five million dollars for three right-wing think tanks within the university system that propagandize the sacredness and infallibility of capitalism! What is the point? Such actions show just how corrupt and barren the conservative philosophy is. Of course Republicans, no strangers to false narratives, said "allowing the amendment would have "blown up" the state budget, even though the program costs the state nothing." Yet these same right-wing politicians are voted in time and time again because the marginally educated white Republican base insists on voting against their own economic self-interest striking some imagined blow against the coastal elites and intellectualism itself. Too bad!
Well, perhaps the three right wing think tanks can produce enough pseudo-scholarship about the joys of the poor pulling themselves up by their bootstraps so these children without any health insurance will realize just how lucky they are to live in a free market economy where they can praise American Exceptionalism when sick!