“A Medical Ghetto Called Medicaid”

by JC

Well, now we know what the republicans really think about health care and the plight of the poor. Senator Lamar Alexander basically acknowledged the third world status of the less fortunate Americans among us.

The plan, said the Senator from Tennessee, is “arrogant in its dumping of 15 million low-income Americans into a medical ghetto called Medicaid that none of us or any of our families would ever want to be a part of for our health care.”

“Medical ghetto” indeed. Better a medical ghetto than sitting on the street outside a community health care clinic that has little or no services available to you.

These guys really do live in an alternate universe. One where poor blacks get free health care via Medicaid, and gosh, what a travesty that we’ll lump in another 15 million Americans… AMERICANS… with them.

Heaven forbid that a white senator from Tennessee would have to tell his low income and white constituents that they’re going to have to share Medicaid with the rest of them ghetto dwellers.

I guess we can say at this point: “and now you know the rest of the story.” Arrogant, indeed.


  1. problembear

    as much contempt as i feel for the poor effort and the blatantly corrupt process, this country badly needs reform of our health care system. the fact that republican party opposes health care reform and refuses to acknowledge this simply because they are afraid that successful passage would be a victory for the democrats and a loss for their side is reprehensible and deserves our utmost contempt.

    that being said, i hope this bill dies so we can blame the republicans and blue-dog democrats for turning their backs on the hundreds of millions of us who do not trust the insurance industry anymore.

    i believe the resulting anger over failure of this weak bill combined with the greed of HMO’s raising premiums would gain us even more momentum for a singlepayer canadian style health care bill in 2012.

    • Anon

      I’m sure if the Dems had proposed a workable, acceptable plan, the Reps would have voted for it. But this pig of a bill should die an ugly death.

      • JC

        Sure, if the dems would have proposed a republican plan, the repubs would have voted for it.

        But in this political climate, there is no such thing as a “workable, acceptable plan.” That’s unicorn talk.

  2. klemz

    As a 2,000 page bill passed the Senate,
    a poor white child is born in the ghetto.
    In the ghetto.
    And the Republicans cried,
    because if there one thing that they don’t need
    is to be paying for type-II diabetes in the ghetto.
    People, don’t you understand
    the child needs an insurance plan,
    or he’ll grow to be a socialist man
    some day in the ghetto.
    In the ghetto.
    And while waiting at the free clinic,
    with all the black families on Medicaid
    he learns how to dribble
    and he learns how to rap
    in the ghetto.
    And Lamar Alexander cried.

  3. Big Swede

    Unrelated. The story about the hanged census taker has taken a different tone.


    So much for wishful thinking,

  4. “What is on the minds of many is whether this murder is the materialization of rising anti-government sentiment, championed by the likes of Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin and Bill O’Reilly. Tea-baggers.” – This blog and LITW 9/12

    Care to issue any apologies? Or do you ever go back and actually see whether all those hateful things you say about Beck, O’Reilly and Tea-baggers are true or not?

  5. problembear

    how about an apology from the far right wing of the republican party for refusing to bargain in good faith regarding health care reform?….or an apology from the far right for refusing to even acknowledge that our current corrupt and profit-based health care system is barbaric and intrinsically evil in it’s utter disregard for the suffering of the under-insured and the uninsured in this country? or an apology for eight years of greed and stupidity under bush/cheney?

    btw- i am sure that a simple search will reveal the correct post the above comments belong on. putting your above comments on this post might lead someone to suspect that your comments about an unrelated event might be a desperate attempt to divert attention away from the fact that the party of no has not even bothered to show up regarding solving a huge problem i.e.-the suffering that the american people have endured thanks to the private insurance companies that rip us off daily.

    divert away. it fools no-one.

    • Big Swede

      I’m sure if we hadn’t brought it up your next post would’ve had your full apology, right pb?

      In fact you guys are just about to give us posts on the surge in Afganny, Climategate, Bama’s sinking polls, and unemployment.

      And please spare us from false blame for the health debacle, with majorities in the house and 60 votes in the senate.

  6. problembear

    i am not blaming the far right for the current health care bill that is being debated, swede. i am blaming the far right for not caring enough about people suffering in this country to even show up.

    your obvious diversion on this poor soul’s plight is just another example of how the far right jeers at the suffering of others. it is shameful behavior and should be condemned.

    • Timmy

      I’m pretty sure it’s the “caring” of the government and whiny liberals that got us into this mess.

      You can trace much of the cost that currently prevents people from affording health care to government intervention, mandating coverage, mandating insurance coverage by employers, and the massive amounts of fraud and waste by the government. Medicare fraud is 7 times the combined profits of all the Fortune 500 health insurance companies, but your answer is MORE GOVERNMENT.

      Yes, I’d rather be the evil uncaring one who can see the reality of government intervention and regulation as the source of the problems, instead of continuing to throw money at problems in the name of “caring.”

  7. I know it’s superfluous to address the details of JC’s post, but let me take a stab at it.

    First, Lamar Alexander’s quote: “a medical ghetto called Medicaid that none of us or any of our families would ever want to be a part of for our health care.”

    Our family actually requested entry into the Medicaid “ghetto” when our teen daughter was in a mental health residential treatment center in 2008. She was self-mutilating and had threatened to kill herself, and was eventually diagnosed as bipolar. She was in treatment for 330 days. My insurance covered 45 of those days, with a 20 percent co-pay.

    What to do? The Wyoming Dept. of Health funds a Medicaid Waiver Program that picks up the bill for children and teens that need long-term treatment but are either uninsured or under-insured, the fate of most Americans who work full-time. This is especially true when it comes to mental health care.

    It took me awhile to find out about the program and to fill out the correct paperwork. Once enrolled, taxpayer dollars (yours, mine and maybe even a few from Lamar Alexander) picked up the tab for my daughter’s care. We traveled 400 miles round trip to see her each weekend and participate in therapy sessions.

    When she was released in January 2009, she received after-care in the form of medication and therapy. Trained specialists documented her progress, and on Sept. 30 she was cleared to come off the waiver.

    I’m still calculating the costs covered by Medicaid. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $150,000. We could never have afforded it.

    We met a lot of our Medicaid ghetto dwellers along the way. Middle class folks. Most grief-stricken that their kids were in trouble. But thankful that there was an alternative to letting their kids travel alone and untreated down the dead-end road of teen suicide and schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and drug/alcohol abuse.

    My daughter’s doing fine (thanks for asking) and is back in school and staying on her meds. My insurance company, for all its shortcomings, is paying the bills and we pick up the co-pays. We learned a few things from our time in the ghetto. Sen. Alexander should take some time out from pontificating and explore the lives of real people.

    • JC

      Amen. Thanks for the heartfelt story.

      I have a similar one with my daughter. I’m glad your daughter is doing well. So is mine, thanks to being a “ghetto dweller” for 18 months.

      • This one-time “ghetto dweller” is giving thanks today for the experience — and the availability of programs such as the Wyoming Medicaid Waiver program. My daughter is doing well, thanks. She’s helping me cook pies on this fine Wyoming day.

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