My congressman, Ozark Billy Long, has now voted to, in the words of Salon’s Richard Kirsch, “kill tens of thousands of people. Every year.”
Hear me out, people.
Republicans in the House passed Paul Ryan’s budget today by a vote of 221-207, with all Democrats voting against it. Ten Republicans, some of them because it wouldn’t inflict enough pain and misery and death on the country, also voted against it.
But Ozark Billy apparently considered the bill sufficiently painful to warrant his vote. The Associated Press reported today’s macabre theatrics this way:
WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House passed a tea party-flavored budget plan Thursday that promises sharp cuts in safety-net programs for the poor and a clampdown on domestic agencies, in sharp contrast to less austere plans favored by President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies.
And thanks to Barack Obama and his Democratic allies, Ryan’s budget will never get to do its killing, killing that is quantifiable because, as Richard Kirsch, pointed out:
when more people lack health coverage, more people die.
It is uncertain just how many people would be threatened by the Republican vote to, among other things, end ObamaCare and mangle Medicare and Medicaid, because we still don’t know how many Republican governors and Republican-dominated legislatures will refuse to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
But we do know that studies have found that somewhere between 26,000 and 45,000 people die needlessly prematurely because they don’t have health insurance. And the Ryan-Long-Republican budget, if it were to become law, would see to it that the needless deaths continue.
I’ve grown tired of providing a veneer of respectability to people in power –people with good health insurance, coverage that provides them with access to the best medical care, and pays most of their bills – who deny their constituents a basic human right.
Yes, I’ve grown tired of it, too. Thus, today I say that Billy Long, my representative in Congress, voted to allow countless Americans to die needlessly, even if Democrats will see to it that some of them won’t have to.
And to further strip off the veneer, I say today that those of you who went to the polls last November and cast a vote for Billy Long bought yourself a share of his shame.