Well, it's official. The worst place to be poor in this country is Missouri. NPR did a piece this morning about how Missouri is cutting way back on Medicaid, with the intention of getting rid of it all together by 2008.
The part that made the story particularly interesting was how Mizzou's Christian population has reacted. Preacher Sam Man came right out during a rally and said that the governor was committing a sin. Now, I personally bristle anytime the word "sinner" or "sin" is tossed out to condemn legislation, policy or a politician. But I have to say that it made me feel good to hear a Christian leader condemning a politician for cutting aid to the poor for a change, instead of the typical condemnations of homosexuality, abortion, etc.
The governor's response? Well, in order to keep Medicaid funded, he'd have to raise taxes. The governor, who is also a devout Christian, countered that raising taxes is a worse sin than cutting Medicaid.
Then NPR went out and did what it does best, interviewed people on Medicaid who are about to lose their coverage. Currently, Medicaid in Missouri covers 1 in 5 citizens. One woman, who works at McDonald's for a whopping $6.70 an hour, used to qualify for Medicaid at her $300 a week salary. Now she would have to make $86 a week to qualify. The problem is, this woman is supporting 3 children, and if she tries to go out and get a better job that might have insurance, she'll lose the subsidies she gets for child care and housing.
We are screwing our working poor over every day and our "compassionate" conservative government is trying to take the moral high ground? They're the party of faith and values? Spare me.
The governor thinks that booting people off of Medicaid will spur them on to improve their lives, all the while ignoring that most of the people receiving Medicaid right now in his state are working full time. Will someone please hand this man a copy of Nickel and Dimed and tell him to shut his yap about what is and is not a sin? Thanks.