Which is so ironic since most people in Medicaid are white! The most recent study I was able to find shows that blacks made up less than 30 percent of all Medicaid recipients, and only 28 percent of blacks received Medicaid (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1995). Of course, right? Ain’t it always the case that we take the blame for society’s ills?

The right (and some on the left) would have you think that Medicaid was created so lazy shiftless black people could eat bonbons, watermelon & fried chicken while having their free x-rays, abusing the tax dollars of hardworking white people. Like Lamar Alexander who has repeatedly called Medicaid a “Medical Ghetto” on the Senate floor (see video above) including my favorite reference:

“This bill is historic in its arrogance. Arrogant in its dumping of 15 million low income Americans into a medical ghetto called Medicaid that none of us or any of our families would ever want to be a part of for our healthcare.”

Wow. This is deep hardcore racism — it might be fun to deconstruct it…together!

So let’s get this straight Lamar: Obama’s desire to provide healthcare to those who don’t have it (close to 40 million people in the U.S., mind you) means that he’s going to niggerize healthcare. Any self-respecting white person would rather go without health insurance, would rather than family members go without medical care when they need — die early, go death or blind, have a foot removed due to diabetes — rather than live in a nigger neighborhood or have nigger healthcare.

Because let’s be clear — there’s only one senator out of 100 who is black. And we all know who Alexander’s talking about when he says “our families”, right? The funny thing is there are plenty of white folks who need Medicaid, yet it’s stigmatized because there’s a disproportionate number of African-Americans in the program compared to our population. Which is because of our sad legacy of economic discrimination from which we’re only beginning to recover.

Let’s get into the deets: 25% of the people of Tennessee are in TennCare which is TN’s Medicaid program — it’s one of the highest percentages in the nation. And it doesn’t even cover all the people who need it. BTW, You can’t just be broke to be in Medicaid — income is only one determinent. The program was designed to make sure that society’s most vulnerable citizens — low income pregnant women, children and the disabled including people who are blind or deaf — receive the healthcare they need so our society is healthy. According to Wikipedia:

It is estimated that approximately 60 percent of poor Americans are not covered by Medicaid.[3] Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with limited income in the United States. Because of the aging Baby Boomer population, the fastest growing aspect of Medicaid is nursing home coverage.

Given the deep recession (and for black folks who’s unemployment rate is at 30% — it’s a depression) we’re in, I’m willing to bet there are plenty of people in TN right now who would love to qualify for TennCare so they can take their kids to the dentist (yeah, it covers dental too) or to the doctor to take a look at that cough.

What kind of person tells those who have no access to healthcare that they should turn away from it because that kind of healthcare ain’t for them — it’s for niggers? Lamar thinks you should rather go bankrupt after a car accident or die rather than be grouped into a medical ghetto with a bunch of lazy, ignorant & filthy blacks. Or maybe they should just hope they don’t get sick.

People with Medicaid don’t tend to complain about having it or needing it — no, one of the main problem with the system is that not enough doctors take it so having access to Medicaid still doesn’t mean that you can get to a doctor near you. There’s racial discrimination in the Medicaid system that needs to be weeded out — personally I think one of the improvements in the system should be that it’s illegal to NOT accept Medicaid. If you’re a doctor, your job is to be a healer no matter the size of the wallet — or the race — of the patient.

Sour, Sorry Sen. Alexander — please sit down and shut up. This type of talk might work among your country club members, but it’s clearly not what the hurting people of TN and the rest of the United States are needing. As Senate debate continues — thanks to 60 votes, there’s no filibuster — it will be up to us to keep the debate honest and make sure that certain people don’t use racially loaded language to deny those who need our help from receiving it.

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