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Blog of Mass Destruction

Now It's "Gulags"

By The Reverend Published: December 7, 2009

Here's less than a minute of Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), telling FOX viewers how Medicaid is "essentially a health care gulag"....

Cornyn, as all Republicans do, (perhaps with the exception of Olympia Snowe (R-ME)), is doing the bidding of health insurers and big pharma by floating yet another "death panel"-like criticism of Democratic efforts to advance health care reform. This time Medicaid is a "health care gulag".....

It will limit people's choices to, in many cases, to a government-run program like Medicaid which is essentially a health care gulag, because people will not have any choices but to take that poorly performing government plan.

The dictionary defines 'gulag' as "the system of forced labor camps in the Soviet Union", "a Soviet forced-labor camp", and "any prison or detention camp, esp. for political prisoners."

Cornyn says that if Democrats pass their conservative, health insurer and big pharma-friendly legislation, Americans will be forced into a prison camp bondage situation without any choice, "in many cases", but the gulag of know, that "poorly performing government plan."


Having a limited income is one of the primary requirements for Medicaid eligibility, but poverty alone does not qualify a person to receive Medicaid benefits unless they also fall into one of the defined eligibility categories.[2] According to the CMS website, "Medicaid does not provide medical assistance for all poor persons. Even under the broadest provisions of the Federal statute (except for emergency services for certain persons), the Medicaid program does not provide health care services, even for very poor persons, unless they are in one of the designated eligibility groups."[2]

Many poor people are not eligible to participate in John Cornyn's "gulag." They don't have any choices at all. Cornyn, and his GOP brethren, would rather that these poor Americans not have any health care options....AT ALL. Republicans like Cornyn are looking out for the interests of all those poor people outside of Medicaid. Cornyn wants to keep any health care coverage away from these poor people who don't qualify for Medicaid because he doens't want those poor, uninsured Americans to see a doctor, or receive medical care inside the "gulag."

Serious Republicans are always thinking of what's best for the disadvantaged of our nation. It's their only passion.

Take Texas as an example. Texas is Cornyn's home state. How are Texans faring when it comes to health coverage? Surely, with serious people protectors like Cornyn, Texas must be the template for all states to follow when it comes to health care coverage....

The Commonwealth Fund rated states based on 32 indicators, including access, quality, cost, insurance, preventive care, potentially avoidable hospital visits, and premature death (death before age 75).

The bottom five states are Nevada, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.

Jon Cornyn's non-"gulag" state of Texas is...

the state with the largest percentage of uninsured residents in the nation,

All the great choices that poor Texans have is mind-boggling.....

Low-income workers typically have earnings too high to meet Medicaid's adult income cap in Texas, but not high enough to afford comprehensive health insurance, which cost an average $11,480 for a family of four last year.


In Texas, Medicaid only covers parents with incomes below 22 percent of the poverty line, which works out to $308 a month for a working parent with two children. Such a parent toiling only 14 hours a week at the current minimum hourly wage of $5.85 would make too much to qualify.

As you can see from the exemplary performance of the state of Texas when it comes to giving Texans good and numerous choices in health care coverage.....John Cornyn is spot on with his analysis. Wouldn't want to give those poor, unqualified-for-Medicaid-and-too-poor-to-buy-insurance Texans some "gulag"-like new know, like Medicaid. If Texans had that "gulag" choice, I mean, what would they do? Texans would choose the "gulag" because, obviously, THAT would be their only choice. Cornyn wants to spare poor Texans (and Americans) from being able to choose such a "poorly performing government program." Being totally without health care coverage would be better, according to Cornyn, than being thrown into a no-choices "poor performing", not-for-profit plan.

Sure, poor Texans would get to see a doctor regularly and be eligible for Medicaid medical services....but let's be honest.....what uninsured family would want to be a member of a "gulag", you know, just to see a doctor?

See? It all makes perfect sense. Cornyn and his Republican friends are very serious problem solvers and are working feverishly, like they have in Texas, looking out for what's best for regular Americans. In their wisdom, GOP'ers have calculated that having "poor performing" health coverage, "gulag" coverage, is WORSE than having any coverage at all.

It's called "compassionate conservatism."



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