Implementing the Right’s agenda sacrifices health, happiness

The Agenda:

Step 1) Get a majority in the House of Representatives;

Step 2) Go as far right to show you can pass things as a body, but avoid or minimize votes on necessary legislation that cannot win a vote;

Step 3) When the far right agenda you have been able to get passed in the House stalls in the Senate – because it is ridiculously self-serving to massive corporate interests or your own party’s interest – take it to the states you control and push it through there;

Step 4) Meanwhile, get the ideologue donors to pour money into ideologue state legislatures to show that your policies are too American for Washington insiders to get.

End Game: like executives building the trans-continental railroad, arrive at the National Mall and drive the golden stake into true center of the Federal Quadrangle, just west of the Washington Monument, thereby linking a blindly oligarchic state and federal agenda, achieved on the backs of working Americans, and making a new USA, where Feudalism is federalized, and the rest of us are worked until we die and can be swept into paupers’ graves.

"THe Last Spike," by Thomas Hill (1881) (Wikimedia Commons)

We already know about states passing ever stricter abortion access laws, and wanting to curtail women’s access to health care, and with Republicans and their big business allies unsuccessful at their attempts to keep money from flowing to Planned Parenthood on the Federal level, they are passing laws, state-by-state, to cut off their own Medicaid funding from the women’s health provider. GOP darling and recently deferred presidential candidate, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) recently signed a bill in Indiana that does just that. According to the New York Times, Daniels’ state isn’t alone. North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Scott Walker’s Wisconsin are all considering similar legislation, and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is about to sign a bill that redirects $300,000 from the Planned Parenthood clinics in that state, the Times story reports.

But Indiana’s new law has attracted the attention of the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services who said, in a statement to the Times: “‘Federal law prohibits federal Medicaid dollars from being spent on abortion services. Medicaid does not allow states to stop beneficiaries from getting care they need — like cancer screenings and preventive care — because their provider offers certain other services. We are reviewing this particular situation and situations in other states.'”

The law has already gone into affect in the Hoosier state, and the result has been that Planned Parenthood clinics have become benificiaries of $50,000 of contributions. According to a story in The Indiana Daily Student,  “Donations have come from 44 states and several foreign countries, according to a statement released by Becky Cockrum, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana.”

The extra money, the IDS story explains, means that clinics will be able to accept women for health screenings and treatment through the end of the month. After that, it’s up to the federal government, which can withhold Medicaid money from states that “stop beneficiaries from getting care they need.”

But in an op-ed penned in February, during the Planned Parenthood defunding debate in Congress, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence called it a moral issue. “I believe it is morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund organizations that provide and promote abortions,” Pence wrote, “like Planned Parenthood of America,” even though, by law,  none of the federal money coming to the organization can be used to pay for abortions.

To Pence, and other GOP hardliners, it may be more about sacrificing women’s health and people’s livelihoods in order to not raise taxes. According to a story in Sunday’s Washington Post, it’s not just the public benefit from women’s health that is under attack. Some states are cutting unemployment benefits rather than raise taxes. “Legislators are trying to limit tax increases for businesses to replenish the pool and are hoping the federal government keeps stepping in when the economy slumps,” the Post story says. So it’s better to bail out the states than for the states to take on the economically responsible thing and raise taxes.

State by state, we become the labor that builds the infrastructure for these modern day robber barons to get their hands in our wallets. Better to give it to them, they tell us, than to give it to some lazy person with low morals. They know what to do with it, they say. Meanwhile, we’re the ones getting railroaded, all the way from Indianapolis’ Brickyard to the DC Beltway.


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