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Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Stereotypes Behind Political Belief Systems

 Old Tom Corbett

We have already heard from Andrew Napolitano, who infamously has written:
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, recently discovered serious structural problems with St. Patrick’s Cathedral that will cost $200 million to repair. He will soon have that bill paid. Where did that money come from? It came from the disposable income of rich Catholic capitalists. Who will benefit from this? The blue-collar workers whom the restoration project is employing now have jobs, and everyone – rich and poor – who attends Mass at the refurbished St. Patrick’s will do so in comfort and beauty.
which implies that the wealthy give money to the church, and this is used for church repairs (in this case) and give employment to the "blue-collar" shlubs, who seem not to give money to the church: a blessed "trickle-down" that settles like a gentle dew upon the denim-colored collars...

As I mentioned elsewhere, this is a total distortion of the middle class and working class Roman Catholics in the parishes in the areas where I grew up. So-called "blue collar" families regularly gave money to the church, and they did not expect some rich Catholic guy to fund "their" church for them.

It is not the world, but wealthy Manhattan, New York, which is too much with Mr. Napolitano.

Then there is the Republican governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett.
In The Los Angeles Times:,0,51848.story#axzz2nYTYyHuA
... Corbett's "Healthy Pennsylvania" plan, which was released for public comment this week, is a sham. It would reduce health benefits for many of his neediest citizens and impose punitive conditions on their coverage. It requires waiver approval from the federal government that's almost certain to be refused, because some of its provisions are in flagrant violation of federal law. And even if it were approved, Corbett waited so long to put his plan together that it probably couldn't be implemented until 2015. In the meantime, 500,000 of his citizens will be medically uncovered.

"He's being very disingenuous," says Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. "He knows a lot of this proposal is not approvable" under federal law.

The plan requires premiums to be paid by Medicaid enrollees with monthly incomes as low as $479, at which level the premiums would be $13 a month. Think that's not too bad? Try living on that monthly income and scraping together a single extra dollar. What's worse is that Corbett's plan would throw people off the coverage rolls for three months if they miss a single premium payment. The second miss gets them barred for six months and the third for nine months.

This punitive provision belongs in the dictionary next to the term "counterproductive." If your goal is to enroll people in a health program, the idea is to lower barriers to entry, not raise them. The Medicaid population, by definition, is one with spotty income at best. The likelihood that they might miss a premium payment is high. The last thing they need is for their government to stack the deck against their continuing access to healthcare.

Corbett's administration describes this provision in its waiver application designed "to instill a sense of personal responsibility into the program and reinforce incentives for healthier behaviors." If there's a depiction of the poor that drips more with contempt and arrogance than that, I'm not sure I want to hear it.
 Instill a sense of personal responsibility into those people who have none... who spend their time drinking, smoking, caressing their guns possibly, and hanging out in bars that are known hot spots for contagious diseases.

These are the stereotypes that guide the souls of people like Tom Corbett.


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