Friday, January 4, 2008

Bush Orders Limits on Medicaid as Country Slips in Recession

Media reports this morning say Bush is casting about for ideas on how to stop the looming recession. That he has no ideas of his own is suggestive. Likely we'll here more of the same: tax cuts for the wealthy and for rich corporations, etc. etc. etc.

But he then did something that makes no sense whatsoever.

While recession looms, Bush is ordering states to curtail plans to expand Medicaid coverage to working families.

White House spokesperson Tony Fratto: “This policy demonstrates the president’s compassion.” What? Fratto used this phony claim to cover for the Bush administration's ideological commitment to helping private insurance companies get richer.

Now is the time for expanding health care coverage for working families. The unemployment rate has risen about one-half point over the last six months to 5% last month. The foreclosure crisis has sparked even more serious financial problems and will likely reverberate through the economy with more layoffs in related industries.

Now is the time to help working families who, if they don't already have a hard time paying for inadequate private insurance, soon will see a big financial crunch in their pocketbooks and savings accounts.

What is Bush thinking? This is compassionate? It is similar to his veto of two S-CHIP bills that would have helped cover an additional 4 million uninsured children.

Bush's actions aren't motivated by compassion. In fact, the perverse ideological obsession with big profits for big insurance companies is the very thing more than 236,000 people voted against in Iowa last night.

Bush's Medicaid crunch is the sort of typical Bush-ism that will send a wave of people to polls on Nov. 4th to end 8 long years of ultra-right, anti-people policies that serve as the planks of the Republican Party's platform and the hot air of its ideology.

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