Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Huh? Senate Prez Don Gaetz compares opposition to Medicaid expansion to segregation

This is one of those "Did I just read what I think I read? No way. Seriously, there must be something wrong with my eyes" type of articles. 

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz has compared those opposed to Medicaid expansion to segregationists. Yes, really.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

Florida has no choice. It must expand its Medicaid program under the federal law known as Obamacare, Senate President Don Gaetz says... 
To Gaetz, the current Medicaid debate is not unlike what happened [in 1957] in Tallahassee — when the issue wasn't access to health care.
It was race.
An all-white, rigidly segregationist, unrepresentative Legislature, controlled by rural "pork choppers," passed a resolution that said Florida would not integrate its schools "with all deliberate speed" in accordance with the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Brown vs. Board of Education. 
Fast forward to a few days ago, when Gov. Rick Scott endorsed a three-year expansion of Medicaid, subject to the Legislature's approval. With the lawmaking session one week away, Gaetz appears much more willing to expand Medi­caid than his House counterpart, Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.
"The law's the law," Gaetz said, "and a lot of my constituents and a lot of my friends don't want to believe that. They believe that we can nullify Obamacare or we can pretend that it didn't pass, or we can pretend that we didn't lose the presidential election in 2012."
Read the whole article here.

Wait just a darn minute here.

So, if you are hesitant about expanding a gigantic federal program that's overrun with fraud and waste, that's like opposing Brown vs. Board of Education's order to desegregate schools?

What the heck.

I really want to believe that Gaetz was misquoted. Or taken out of context. Or woken up early and questioned before he had had his coffee. Because this is not just a ridiculous analogy, even his facts are wrong.

"The law's the law," Gaetz says. Well, not quite. Florida is not required to agree to this Medicaid expansion. That's why we're all having this debate - because it's not actually the law yet.

I believe that reasonable people can differ over whether Florida should expand its Medicaid system. However, making blanket statements that a far-from-settled issue is "the law," and insinuating that anyone who disagrees has the same mindset as those nasty racists who didn't want desegregated schools is completely unhelpful, if not flat-out destructive.

Come on, President Gaetz. You're better than this. Clarify what you meant to say here and let's get back to debating the issue on the merits.

...like, for example, how this Medicaid expansion just piles more debt on the backs of future Floridian generations, of all races...hmmmm?

You can contact Senate President Gaetz's office here. Remember, polite people are more likely to have their opinion heard.

See also: Sunshine State Sarah | Weatherford raises national profile as distance grows between Gov. Scott and conservative grassroots

Follow me on Twitter at @rumpfshaker

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available here.