Missouri Breaks

While America wallows in the story of the runaway bride, something a little more important has been going unreported in the broadcast media.

The *Los Angeles Times* did cover it, though, on April 24TH:

…in impoverished southeast Missouri, nurses at a family health clinic stash drug samples for patients they know won’t be able to afford their prescriptions after their [Medicaid] coverage is eliminated this summer. Doctors try to comfort waitresses, sales clerks and others who will soon lose coverage for medical, dental and mental healthcare.

And who’s responsible?

The federal government helps pay for Medicaid, but in the coming fiscal year, the federal contribution will drop by more than $1 billion because of changes in the cost-share formula. President Bush has warned of far deeper cuts to come; he aims to reduce federal spending on Medicaid by as much as $40 billion over the next decade.

Imagine that! Less than *half* the downpayment on the war in Iraq — the famous $87 billion that Kerry voted for before he voted against — would have paid for ten years of Mr. Compassion’s intended Medicaid cuts.

I’m sure southeast Missouri went Republican in 2004. It’s Bible belt country, one of those places where gay marriage is considered a bigger threat than unaffordable heart medication. Missouri elected a hardass Republican governor last time, too.

I hope the residents of my home state can live with what they’ve done to themselves.

You’ll need to register at latimes.com to read the entire story. I recommend you do.

It’s horrifying, and it’s coming soon to a State or Commonwealth near you.

8 Responses to “Missouri Breaks”

  1. Leviathan Says:

    Not really on-point, but I have to take issue with the tenor of your little aside:

    the famous $87 billion that Kerry voted for before he voted against

    He voted for it when there were going to be taxes to pay for it. He voted against it when Dubya had no means of funding it — except, you know, going back later and cutting medicaid while permanently eliminating the estate tax.

  2. Steve Gerber Says:

    I meant the Kerry reference sarcastically. I understood why he voted against that appropriation, and I agreed with his reasoning. (As long as we’re talking, though, I also think he did the worst job in the history of the known universe when it came to explaining that vote.)

  3. Justin K Says:

    Hey Steve,

    Are you going to be at any cons coming up in Missouri. I am going to one in Lenexa-Kansas City, but if there is another one you are going to be at, I would gladly wait so that I could meet you.

    Justin K

  4. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    First of all, here’s an article about it that doesn’t require registration:


    However, some additional research has come up with an interesting statistic; the cuts were not in Medicaid per se, but in the rate of growth; in fact, in the budget just passed, the spending on Medicaid is 7.2% HIGHER than it was in last year’s budget, although less than the originally planned 7.4% increase.

    Point #2: the line about Kerry (and a number of lines about Bush) has to do with the habit of people to compartmentalize data; they take complex issues, made up of many parts, and treat it as a molithic whole. As was pointed out, Kerry supported giving money to the troops, but did not support other aspects of the bill, and, had the bill failed, would have supported an amended one giving just as much support for the troops.

  5. Steve Gerber Says:

    This really is a case of When Sarcasm Failed. I really did understand Kerry’s supposed “flip-flop” on that vote. I agreed with him. About half of the appropriation was a giveaway to Halliburton and like companies — funding for no-bid contracts. And yes, Bush had no way to pay for it. (Except, of course, he did, and we’re now finding out what it is.)

  6. Bryan Griest Says:

    Sarcasm aside, it’s the potential of situations like this that never fail to sicken me, because you know that the Missouri Republicans will find no end of ways to disingenuously blame this funding/service collapse on any Dems that happen to be in the vicinity. Darn obstructionists! Of course, Missourians do get eternal credit for voting for a dead person instead of Ashcroft . . .

  7. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    Steve, I knew what you were talking about with the supposed flip-flop. It’s just that the kind of thinking that went behind calling it a flip-flop in the first place is a pet peeve of mine.

  8. haven o'terrorism Says:

    Here’s what I think, Steve: good point about how Americans are trying everything they can lately to screw themselves out of being taken care of when they’re sick or old. Thank God for those nurses and doctors! At least they care. Now if only there was some way to fairly compensate them for the risk they take in breaking the law to help their patients! Like making good doctoring or nursing legal in the U.S.A.

    Don’t get mad at me, I’m just suggesting that such things shouldn’t be an ideological issue. Ever. No. And really, the crazy thing about it is that Americans don’t make good ideologues anyway; Americans, rather, are the world’s most beautifully practical democrats. And everybody knows this! So how did things come to that pass, that terrible nurses-hiding-drugs pass? I say the problem would be solved somewhat easily if everybody merely decided that it ought to be solved, that it must be solved…that is, if everybody got really really mad about it and refused to be placated, and demanded that something be worked out about it on pain of pitchforks and torches. Such things can happen in America, God bless it. To be honest, that’s why it’s a land that I love.

    So good luck, cousins! I’ll be rooting for you, there’s nobody like you guys, you’re the greatest, and I totally believe in you. You can do this. But good luck anyway just in case you need it.