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Monday, October 24, 2016

Republicans couldn’t contain their LOLs over the anemically low private insurance enrollment numbers for the first month of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The joke formula was simple: ___________ is more popular than Obamacare.

Because when people can’t get insurance, it’s funny.

The master of the form was Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), better known to our readers as a member of Congress who might not be able to pass a firearms background check.


You know what’s also a lot more popular than Obamacare? Not having health insurance in Texas.

For every one person who enrolled in an ACA exchange plan, 58 Texans lack insurance. A quarter of the state’s population, 6,234,900 people, are uninsured. To put this in context, for Obamacare to be a success, about seven million people need to enroll by March.

To get a sense of how dire the health care situation is for those in the Lone Star State without heath care coverage, read “Texas’ Other Death Penalty: A Galveston medical student describes life and death in the so-called safety net” by Rachel Pearson.

The MD/PhD student breaks down the biggest myth that the right uses to rebut concerns for the uninsured: that they can get the care they need in emergency rooms:

Ted Cruz has argued that it is “much cheaper to provide emergency care than it is to expand Medicaid,” and Rick Perry has claimed that Texans prefer the ER system. The myth is based on a 1986 federal law called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which states that hospitals with emergency rooms have to accept and stabilize patients who are in labor or who have an acute medical condition that threatens life or limb. That word “stabilize” is key: Hospital ERs don’t have to treat you. They just have to patch you up to the point where you’re not actively dying. Also, hospitals charge for ER care, and usually send patients to collections when they cannot pay.

This kind of care is no use to those with chronic ailments like cancer, heart disease or diabetes — aka the leading causes of death in America.

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  • docb

    One of the last ANTI -CHOICE states in the union! They, texas, are not supporting 1.2 million children, elderly, and veterans with the ideological punishment of DENYING Medicaid. And kicking people off food stamps… and suppressing the votes of Texans>

  • Suralin

    Personally, I have grave concerns about abortion — anything that has the potential to make human life expendable, really.

    But what I didn’t get for so long is why so many on the right are so gung-ho about reintroducing a top-down, government-enforced Prohibition on the practice.

    Part of it, I think, is just bullheaded stubbornness. This is a quintessentially American trait that I think we all share, myself included. Put an obstacle in our path and absolutely nothing will deter us from trying to smash right on through (even if going around would be a better option), the exact way we decided we would in the beginning (even if better routes to victory have opened up since then).

    This is a double-edged sword. It works great when we’re fighting an outside enemy, because they would have to utterly flatten us (and then some) to overcome American willpower. Anyone who thinks Americans are “weak”, “soft”, or “will run crying after getting a bloody nose” has another thing coming.

    But on social issues it’s been detrimental. Way too many anti-abortion activists have hyperfocused on one, and only one, goal: Overturn Roe. And it gets beaten like a drum every election, and it never gets overturned, and it’s been *forty bloody years* at this point.

    Meanwhile any attempt to simply *go around* the brick wall that is Roe has been summarily dismissed. Clearly we’re just not bashing our heads against the wall hard enough.

    I consider myself pro-life, but anti-Prohibition. In practical terms, Prohibition just doesn’t work. Prohibition of alcohol didn’t work, prohibition of drugs *doesn’t* work, and prohibition of guns *wouldn’t* work. And, frankly, prohibition of abortion didn’t work before 1973, so why would it work now?

    Moreover, look at what happened when it was put into practice. The price of alcohol and drugs rocketed upwards, and illegal businesses saw massive potential profits in providing them. Apply that to abortion, and sure, the price will increase tenfold — but within a year there’ll be a back-alley “doctor” ready and willing to do the job in all but the smallest towns.

    Pro-lifers need to ask themselves why there is demand for abortion as a service in the first place. Then they need to get together and figure out how to provide viable alternatives to it — even if that means adopting the kids who would’ve been aborted.

    Otherwise all this pointless head-bashing is just going to continue.

    • Sand_Cat

      If you have grave concerns about abortion, think about the right’s crusade against the most effective preventer of abortion: birth control.
      And you’re far too late on the issue of expendable human life: led by the right and some on the left (formerly LOTS on that side, too), the world treats workers as expendable objects, “born” children as expendable, or even targeted, objects; the advertising industry treats people, and particularly women, as expendable objects, our industries treat all living and non-living things as expendable objects, and our “defense” industry and the politicians who patronize it treat those they cynically call “our heroes” as expendable objects, and on and on. Many of our “churches” care for their members only as sources of wealth and power for the leaders. Derrick Jensen accurately called our culture “omnicidal,” and the US probably exceeds most of the remaining tyrants in the world and a lot of the old ones as well in effectiveness in this area. There’s no place to run to escape it, and most people would indignantly deny that it. So you might as well make the best of it and try to elect people who are at least slightly less enthusiastic exploiters of everyone and everything else, and – guess what – the majority of the “pro-life” movement wouldn’t make the cut if we lived in a sane, educated, and intelligent world.