"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Child-hating congressman

Whoa, Em, that's some strong rhetoric there...wasn't Rep. Nathan Deal, R-GA just trying to protect innocent taxpayers from spending their money on illegal aliens when he and the late Rep. Charlie Norwood created the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006? Some excerpts from an update on CaliforniaHealthline.org:

Proof-of-Citizenship Rule Pushes Drop in Medicaid Enrollment

March 12, 2007

Medicaid programs in seven states have reported declines in enrollment during the past year that they attribute to new federal rules requiring beneficiaries and applicants to provide documentation proving their U.S. citizenship, the New York Times reports.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2006 includes a provision that most people who seek Medicaid enrollment must provide "satisfactory documentary evidence of citizenship," such as a passport or the combination of a birth certificate and driver's license. Applicants are required to submit original documents or copies that have been certified by the issuing agency, some state officials say.

The law, written by Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) and the late Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-Ga.), is intended to prevent undocumented immigrants from enrolling in Medicaid. However, it "has instead shut out tens of thousands of United States citizens," the Times reports. Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia have attributed declines in Medicaid enrollment to the new requirements.

In Florida, the number of children enrolled in Medicaid declined by 63,000, to 1.2 million, from July 2006 to January. Florida Department of Children and Families spokesperson Albert Zimmerman said, "Nearly all of these people are American citizens." In Iowa, the number of Medicaid beneficiaries declined by 5,700, to 92,880, during the second half of 2006 after increasing for five years.

Iowa Department of Human Services Director Kevin Concannon said, "The largest adverse effect of this policy has been on people who are American citizens. We have not turned up many undocumented immigrants receiving Medicaid in Waterloo, Dubuque or anywhere else in Iowa."

So now that Rep. Deal knows that his law is keeping real live U.S. citizens and their kids from accessing health care benefits such as befit real live U.S. citizens, is he trying to fix it?

Chris Riley, chief of staff for Deal, said Deal believes that the law "has saved taxpayers money," adding that Deal "will vigorously fight repeal of that provision." Riley added that Deal will try to extend a similar provision to SCHIP. Riley also said that the requirement could be applied flexibly to minimize hardship for citizens (Pear, New York Times, 3/12).

Assuming there's genuine interest in minimizing hardship. Some states, not to name names (FLORIDA) thrive on it. So many vivid cliches come to mind...babies and bathwater...noses and faces...guns and feet...

So, I assert, either Rep. Deal hates children, or he just really hates non-citizens & non-citizen children and doesn't believe that people who need Medicaid are really citizens because he thinks there's an income requirement in the Constitution (hint: there's not). Or maybe in the war on illegal immigration, tens of thousands of U.S. citizens are OK collateral damage especially if it frees up our sacred tax dollars for other uses. Last I checked Georgia was not one of those states where nobody needs Medicaid so I reckon he's not doing such a great job of "Representing" y'all.

1 comment:

WP said...

Is not the chickenhawk Bush admin. spending $2 billion a month prosecuting the war in Iraq. What a tax break we would all get with enough crums left over for the poor, the tired, the hungry, if this insane venture had never started.

I had some business students in my office today from WSU and one of the them used the self damning phrase of 'shock and awe'. I told him that it was an inappropriate phrase in my company and he would have to forbear using those Rumsfield words.

Thanks for your post!