February 21, 2014

Oh, what depraved minds these pea-brained legislators have! Yes, that's right. Even after imposing extra eligibility requirements on people eligible for the Medicaid expansion, Republicans just can't bring themselves to give the poors health care.

In Virginia, Democrats in the Senate passed the expansion, but the Republican Assembly put the kibosh on it, preferring to let poor folks know they're perfectly fine with early and untimely deaths as people earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level are shut out of health care access.

It wasn't as though it was unconditional even if they had approved it. Virginia baked in a proposal requiring that unemployed people be actively seeking work to qualify and pay up to 5 percent of their meager earnings for the privilege of having any health care. Still, that pound of flesh wasn't enough to convince Republicans to vote for it. In fact, the main sticking point seems to be that Virginia didn't repeal the thing entirely, because of course states can repeal laws that were passed by the United States Congress. Right?

In Arkansas, the Senate has passed a continuation of their existing expansion, but Republicans are holding out as long as they can, holding the health of 85,000 residents in that state hostage. TPM has the tale of horse-trading and dealmaking that was intended to get the extension passed with a 75 percent majority, and how it failed today.

Remember, in the case of Arkansas, a vote against expansion is a vote to take away health care those 85,000 poor folks already have. That seems to be something Republicans in Arkansas are perfectly comfortable doing, if today's vote is any indication.

I hope every one of those 85,000 people who has reached voting age tells those representatives what they think of them in November. It's either that, or they're going to bring out pitchforks and torches. Voting is better. Less violent.

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