As is generally the case when sweeping legislative reform is debated, the states which need it most are the states where opposition is the loudest.
Healthcare reform measures are no exception.
Recently, I read two interesting Gallup Poll surveys which bear this out:
Among states with “basic access to well-being” – "basic needs optimal for a healthy life such as access to healthcare, safe places to exercise, affordable fruits and vegetables" – Mississippi and West Virginia have the least access. (LINK)
Mississippi, Texas and New Mexico have more citizens without health insurance than any other states in the country. (LINK)
Today's edition of the Los Angeles Times has an excellent analysis of this enigma. (LINK) Here are the headline and sub-head of the analysis:
"States most likely to win under healthcare overhaul are home to its biggest foes"
“Rural states have more uninsured and lower-income people who stand to benefit from legislation, but it's there where the effort faces the most vocal resistance. It's a factor that stymies legislators.”
A senator from one of these states, Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) can’t seem to grasp the needs of his people. That’s because they can’t seem to understand their own needs.
What else can we call this if not stupid.
Republicans are scared to death of a maneuver called, ironically enough, “reconciliation.”
According to CNN’s Political Ticker: ““Under reconciliation, which applies to bills affecting the federal budget and deficit, a measure requires a simple majority of 51 votes to pass in the Senate, rather than the super majority of 60 votes needed to overcome an opposition filibuster.”
In a CNN report this morning (LINK), Sen. Alexander warns of such a vote, “This will wreck our healthcare system and wreck the Democratic Party.” Tennessee's town hall meetings led Alexander to conclude Americans are “scared to death” of healthcare reform and its passage will lead to “a minor revolution in this country.” (Read "Be afraid, be very afraid.")
Is this responsible representation of an area which would benefit from reform? Well, yeah, if his people are too stupid (there’s that word again) to understand their own needs.
In what is one of the most hypocritical statements concerning this issue, Alexander said of Democrats:
"Either they don't know how to operate in a bipartisan way or they don't want to operate in a bipartisan way."
And, that claim, Sir, is, well, stupid.