As I have stated a couple times here and here, I am not pleased that Matt Bevin will shortly be Kentucky’s governor, mostly because of what he’s going to do to Kynect, Kentucky’s response to the Affordable Care Act, which helped expand Medicaid and allowed people to access health insurance. Thanks to former Governor Beshear, over 500,000 Kentuckians were able to get insurance through Kynect in the past two years, allowing people who have never had access to health care to finally get it. This is especially important in Kentucky, where thousands live below the poverty line and suffer from addiction and disease. It is unconscionable that our governor, the steward of the Kentucky people, would try to deny his citizens access to basic care.
And yet, we only have ourselves to blame, as this very illuminating article shows. In it, we meet Lisa Botner, a woman with hyperthyroidism and a seven-year-old son who recently got Medicaid through Kynect but who still voted for Bevin because she is a “die-hard Republican.” The article then goes on to show that Kentuckians from the poorest counties and lowest income brackets voted for Bevin, mostly due to fear about social issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, racism, and the so-called liberal agenda. In fact, these same people seem to appreciate Kynect and what it’s done for their health, but they still voted for Bevin and against progressives and liberals. In their minds, social issues are more important than health – or they simply didn’t realize what they were getting into.
As the briefest scan through my articles will show, I am a liberal. I support a woman’s right to choose, same-sex marriage, transgender equality, racial equality, and aiding refugees. Therefore, I cannot understand the hatred and fear people have over these issues. It simply doesn’t make sense to me. And it seems extra illogical that you would rather vote against someone else having a right than for you maintaining your health – especially when that right doesn’t hurt you in the least. Equal rights for everyone doesn’t take away your equal rights, and if a person does something that you think hurts them in the eyes of the Lord, they are only condemning themselves. However, voting for a man that will take away your health care will hurt you. It will mean premiums you can’t pay and therefore fines that you can’t pay. It will mean not going to the doctor because of an infection and losing the limb. It will mean not being able to afford medication and dying. It will hurt you. Why would you vote against that?
Part of the problem is that health care has become too politicized. It’s not a rational discussion about how can we afford this program, it’s a polarized one about good and evil, and it’s being distorted by politicians, insurance companies, and vultures to advance personal agendas. People in Owsley County should know that they’re not getting “something for nothing” – their taxes are paying for the program. They should also know that the government was already negotiating with insurances and doctors to bring down the cost of coverage and that they just voted to stop that. And they should know that a vote for Kynect/the Affordable Care Act is not a vote for Obama, Hillary, Islam, the liberals, the gays, etc. – it’s a vote for health. Nothing more, nothing less. And they should demand that their representative expand the problem and take care of them – not just throw it out because he holds a personal grudge against our President. Access to decent, affordable health care isn’t a liberal propaganda piece, Kentucky – it’s a basic right.