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If you haven’t been paying attention: Republicans have been so gung-ho about stripping health care from millions of people and giving tax cuts to a few monstrously rich people that at the end of September they needlessly let the Children’s Health Plan (CHIP) expire – just like too many kids and adults will if the GOP can’t figure out how to act like human beings, and govern accordingly. Currently, CHIP provides health care to almost nine million children nationwide; if Congress, which has historically summoned a reasonable facsimile of bi-partisan support for what most normal people would consider a basic human need, can’t find the will to reauthorize it in the next few weeks, at least 16 states will run out of funding by January 1.
Many good people, including Jimmy Kimmel and Alabama’s newly-elected Doug Jones, have urged lawmakers to confront the grotesque negligence toward children that would be the demise of CHIP. But Rachel Pearson, a cheeky pediatrician in Texas who used to believe everyone deserved health care, says she’s come to learn those in need are “ungrateful, yowling, diapered maniacs who don’t even use language right” and are often “literally carried from place to place in the arms of a real taxpayer.” “Most of my patients have never worked a day in their lives,” she writes. “Patients have punched me, bitten me, screamed at me, and even urinated on me…Sometimes, I have to bribe my patients with bright-colored objects, juice or graham crackers. (Do) my patients thank me? Do they contribute to the economy? No!…” If CHIP isn’t funded, she adds, perhaps letting more American kids die preventable deaths “will send a strong message to kids across the country: Pull your thumbs out of your mouths, get potty-trained and GET A JOB!” Hopefully, eventually, one that would remove the GOP from power.
First published in Common Dreams.