Yesterday on “Meet the Press” Sen. Tom Coburn said the following:

We talk about neonatal mortality. Where’s the neonatal mortality? It’s not in the private insurance plans, it’s in Medicaid. Well, here’s the government-run program that is failing us in terms of neonatal mortality, and yet we use as an indicator neonatal mortality to say we need more government rather than less.

Rachel Maddow replied, “That is so disingenuous, that’s unbelievable.”
Rachel is right, although she didn’t get to explain why. Medicaid is not a federal government insurance program. It’s a joint state/federal program to provide last ditch assistance to people without health insurance to allow them to get treatment rather than die in the streets. Many of the 45 million people without health insurance probably benefit from Medicaid if they have a serious illness, or have a baby. So the people on Medicaid are the people targeted by the new program exactly to do things like allow them to have regular visits to a doctor while they are pregnant, rather than seeing a doctor for the first time when they go to the emergency room to give birth. If it weren’t for Medicaid, many more poor babies would die, because mothers would get no medical care at all.
Coburn is basically saying that since people on Medicaid are poor, he doesn’t care if their babies die. He would join Sarah Palin in calling for babies of trailer park trash to die so that Palin’s Trig and other rich babies can live.
It’s the same selfishness expressed in the town hall meeting protests that say, “Don’t mess with my Medicare.” They worry that their “socialist” government provided health care would suffer if the government tried to provide similar coverage to more people. They are saying I want those other people to die rather than give up my free health care.
Decent, loving people (which should certainly include people who call themselves Christian) would frame the issue as follows: We would like to have decent health care for everybody, not just me. How can we best do that, and how much can we afford? The latter question might also be phrased, how much am I willing to give my neighbor so that he can continue to live.
People screaming, “Don’t touch my Medicare,” are clearly not Christians.

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