The Democratic candidate for Georgia governor has a great (note sarcasm) idea on how to help the state recover from any potential hurricanes: expand Medicaid.
Stacey Abrams made her declaration Tuesday before her debate with Republican Brian Kemp.
There are other common-sense steps we should take that will help Georgians now and during times of crisis. As soon as I am Governor, I will expand Medicaid for 500,000 more Georgians, giving communities the health care coverage they need as they work to regain their health and security in the aftermath of the hurricane. With Medicaid expansion, 18,300 Georgians in affected areas would gain health care coverage.
Abrams has made Medicaid expansion part of her campaign – making it the top issue in her health care plan. She also mentions it in her jobs platform (which seems rather odd to me considering the fact most people equate jobs with lower taxes and fewer regulations), her “gun safety” plan (which seems odd because most politicians bicker over campus carry, background checks, etc), her justice reform platform, seniors plan, and her military and veterans section. I’m not trying to make light of any of these issues but I’m rather surprised Abrams didn’t suggest expanding Medicaid when it came to the environment and energy or her ethics plan.
Medicaid is magic, apparently.
One reporter friend of mine (who also sent me Abrams’ disaster plan) quipped, “I’ve seen a lot of disasters in my time and not once has anyone been quoted saying, “It’d be comforting if the Medicaid loopholes were closed” in the aftermath.”
I highly doubt Medicaid expansion is the only solution to any and all of these problems – or even part of the solution. I could always be wrong, but I’ve failed to see any evidence Medicaid expansion (let alone throwing money at any problem) actually solves it – especially when people are more concerned about getting their lives back in order.
Therein which lies the problem. This notion the government has to be the ones solving everyone’s problems through a handout or five. It doesn’t make sense. What does makes more sense is lowering taxes, cutting spending, and reducing regulations so people can keep more of their hard-earned money. There are also charities and neighborhoods who do all they can to assist those in need when a crisis comes along.
One Georgia TV station profiled what volunteers at the fairgrounds are doing to help those in need and also did a telethon to help others. The private sector (which is more than just businesses) is stepping up to help – so I fail to see why governmernt money is needed to help.
Maybe I’m too much of an idealist when it comes to individuals and businesses doing what they can to help others in the short and long term. But it doesn’t make sense to simply rely on government expansion (on the back of taxpayers) to solve “all the things.”
What’s interesting if the fact conservatives and liberals tend to agree LBJ’s War on Poverty – which is where Medicaid was created – failed.
John McWhorter wrote at Vox in 2016 the issues in NYC’s Bedford-Stuyvesant over poverty had to do with, “bureaucracy and overstaffing (largely on the part of government administrators), inexperience and infighting (largely among black staffers)…” He also noted there were some people who weren’t interested in even receiving help from the government and were fine in living their current lives.
Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector suggested in 2014 LBJ had a good idea in wanting to declare war on poverty – but the government handling of it failed miserably. He theorized welfare programs do more to discourage work and wrote “undermining the social norms necessary for self-reliance, welfare creates a need for even greater assistance in the future.”
It’s in this situation where Abrams’ belief Medicaid expansion would help solve pretty much every problem makes zero sense. There’s nothing wrong with trying to help people get out of poverty (if they want to), but government programs have failed to do what their proponents claim they’ll do for decades.