Cook: GOP Hypocrisy In The State House

by Michael Cook ([email protected]) 86 views 

It’s exasperating when politicians vote against government programs that they themselves directly benefited from. Like a Congressman who received federally-backed student loans to go to college and then voted against the same program he once benefited from. That would be Tom Cotton, by the way.

One of the best examples of hypocrisy comes in the form of State Representative Josh Miller. Ironically, he’s simultaneously one of the best examples of human inspiration, more on that in a moment.

Miller is against the the Private Option and took to the House floor last week to say it’s a handout that creates laziness.

The irony, due to a DWI crash he was involved in that tragically paralyzed him, Rep. Miller received roughly $1 million in government “handouts” through Medicaid.

Kudos to the Arkansas Times for doing the digging on this story:

“Miller, 33, was on an alcohol-fueled drive with a friend about 11 years ago (he can’t remember who was driving) when their pickup plunged off a ravine near Choctaw. He was rescued, but suffered a broken neck and was paralyzed. Miller was uninsured. What young, fit man needs health insurance, he thought then. (He had some reason to know better. Not long before, he’d broken his hand in a fight and had to refuse the recommended surgery to fix the injuries properly because he was uninsured.)

Months of hospitalization and rehabilitation followed, including a long stretch in intensive care at St. Vincent Infirmary. There was a $1 million bill. Medicaid paid most of it. Miller was placed on disability and checks began. In time, between Medicaid and Medicare, all his health costs were covered by the federal government.”

Here is a Republican State Rep who, thankfully, got a massive government handout in the way of health care and now he’s a member of the General Assembly. One shudders to think where someone in his previous position would have been if government had not helped.

But to Miller, providing health care to poor folks who can’t afford it is a horrible waste of funds, but yet it’s acceptable for him to accept $1 million in taxpayer funds.

That is a major mental disconnect I have a hard time understanding. It takes significant semantics pretzel-making to say so-called handouts are acceptable for you, but not for others.

On Twitter, some Republicans freaked out about the Times article, claiming the media outlet was attacking a person with a disability.

Hogwash.

The article never once attacked Miller personally. Republicans just don’t like that blatant hypocrisy was called out and exposed and are just trying to change the subject.

Miller should be praised for overcoming adversity and achieving impressive career milestones at such a young age, but he is also a politician accountable to the people.

To put it in perspective, imagine a business owner who is also a State Representative who rails against government overspending, but it turns out his company takes hundreds of thousands of dollars in government subsidies. That’s some hypocrisy right there, wouldn’t you agree? By the way, I’m referring to Rep. Justin Harris.

Sadly, the modern Republic Party has a significant case of cognitive dissonance when it comes to government funds. Taxpayer monies that directly help them are justified and to be exalted, but taxpayer funds to help out those in need is just coddling lazy people.

Good health care literally saves lives. Fortunately, a government program, created by Democrats, was there to help Rep. Miller when he needed it the most. Unfortunately, Miller doesn’t believe rural hospitals or more than 200,000 Arkansans deserve his vote.

I admire Rep. Miller for what he’s been able to accomplish in life. He’s beaten a lot of odds against him and is a model of what can be accomplished with fortitude and tenacity. And he’s a model of what we can accomplish when government provides health care to those who desperately need it, but can’t afford it.