In some of the most candid public remarks to date Republican Representative Jim Pitts of Waxahachie indicated that if any savings is to come from Texas opting out of the federal Medicaid program that “we will have to throw some people out in the street.” The full context of the entire quote is below thanks to the Texas Tribune:
Pitts told the crowd that the state is studying Medicaid and other forms of government-run health care with the idea of getting out of it. A man in the audience mentioned a friend on the program and asked whether lawmakers would “throw him out on the street.”
“If we did exactly what we're doing today, we wouldn't be throwing him out on the street,” Pitts answered. “But if we have any savings on getting out of Medicaid, we will have to throw some people out in the street. I'm not telling you that your friend would be, but the eligibility to receive state benefits will go down.
Well most of us knew what was coming, but to hear it so blatantly and unapologetically said in a less than heartfelt manner by Republican Pitts should give much reason for Texans to sweat these days. Moreover, Pitts said clearly your friend will not be thrown off if we keep things the way they are right now, but he would if we change things to the GOP way. Inciteful!
If a program such as Medicaid, which the federal government reimburses the state of Texas upwards of 60% of the total cost, is on the cutting block one can only imagine what other programs are next. Although Rick Perry and other Republicans continue to say that the state can handle the needs of those on Medicaid “by ourselves” he is unequivocally and deceptively lying. How can the state of Texas replace 60% of reimbursed funds from the federal government when the state already faces a $25 billion dollar shortfall? The answer is they can't, and they have no intention to even try. Since the 1980's it has been the mission of Republicans to end programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and others and they fully intend to use an internally perceived “election mandate” to do exactly that. The new GOP extreme machine fully intends to throw as many people into the streets as possible with a slash and burn approach to governing that has no mercy.
I don't believe this is the mandate that voters truly went to the polls and voted for, I believe it is a dramatic stretch on the part of Republicans to believe that is the case; however, I'm not surprised that Republicans have manifested the election results to be a full-fledged dismantling of state and federal government of the likes we have never, ever seen before.
The new GOP extreme machine may believe their mandate will be well received by Texans, but as the microscope magnifies the extent of this destructive, slash and burn approach to governing the tide will quickly turn back.