Wednesday, November 30, 2016


From Kentucky's Lexington Herald-Leader we learn about poor voters in Owsley County who voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump and Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin. It turns out that while 66 percent of Owsley County get their health coverage through Medicaid they now have a governor-elect who's going to cut the state's Medicaid program.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Governor-elect Matt Bevin is also going to close the state-run Kynect health insurance exchange.

The real fun (confusing?) part is that 70 percent of Owsley County voted for Republican Governor-elect Matt Bevin after he promised to cut the state's Medicaid program during the campaign.

Here's what one voter - who voted for the Republican governor-elect - sees happening, as explained by the Lexington Herald-Leader:

"If anything changed with our insurance to make it more expensive for us, that would be a big problem" ... a community college student, said Friday at the Owsley County Public Library, where she works. "Just with the blood tests, you're talking maybe $1,000 a year without insurance." 
Yet two weeks earlier, despite [Bevin's] much-discussed plans to repeal Kynect and toughen eligibility requirements for Medicaid, she voted for Bevin. 
"I'm just a die-hard Republican," she said.

Huh?  "I'm just a die-hard Republican" is the rationale for supporting a candidate who promises to cut programs that keep you healthy and alive? This is akin to saying, "I don't like the cancer, but I gotta have my Marlboro smokes ... it makes me feel like a cowboy."

Unfortunately, Owsley County isn't alone when it comes to voting against their economic and health interests, as this Kentucky map dotted with Bevin supporting counties illustrates.

Read more here:
The Lexington Herald-Leader describes what happened in Kentucky's Pulaski County, where the Republican Governor-elect received 72 percent of the vote:

... people back home denounce[d] "Obamacare" while thousands rushed to sign up with Kynect. They didn't seem to realize that Kynect, Kentucky's response to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is the same thing as Obamacare, she said. 
"There's either voter disconnect here, where the people weren't thinking about or weren't aware of Bevin's stance on health care, or these counties just have higher levels of social conservatives who thought it was more important to vote on social issues,"

So, yeah, ill-informed people disconnected from reality is what we're dealing with. 

But Kentucky is not alone when dealing with this kind of disconnect. As Paul Krugman points out, there are probably between 3-4 million people around the country who voted Republican and "just shot themselves in the face" because they will now lose their health insurance.  

Why do people "shoot themselves in the face"? The issue is really quite simple. As my former colleague David Berri put it:
These stories should always be remembered every time someone says: "If only the candidate made this argument, they would have won!" 
Voters are simply not rational. And they are not sitting at home evaluating the merits of the arguments each candidate makes. Elections are not Harvard debating classes. The majority of voters are not that educated and many do stupid stuff like vote for a candidate that promises to take away their health care.

This helps to explain why we see poor people voting Republican. It may not be a smart move, but at least they get to finger wag. They get to condemn the gays. They can claim they're saving the nation from the colored hoards. And they can feel good about how much safer they are because they've been able to stay out of FEMA camps and keep their guns. 

These same people might die from some malignant health disease or tumor. But at least they can say they voted Republican, and didn't aid and abet a Muslim invasion, or support any brown-skinned homos coming across our border. National security, you know. 

Sigh ...

One more thing. Yes, Kentucky is home to the Creationist Museum, where we learn how Jesus roamed the earth with the dinosaurs. It's also the same state that gave us Kim Davis; that confused Bible-thumping Christian warrior who's been divorced three times and cheated on her husbands mulitple times, but nonetheless was convinced she was upholding traditional institutions in America by keeping "the gays" from ruining the sanctity of marriage ...

So, America, this is what we're dealing with. And, yeah, you can't make this stuff up.

- Mark

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1 comment:

Sheets46 said...

You can't make this stuff up. and The ignorance of the common voter and those who don't vote.