The headline in the StarTribune says “Health care for poor may get axe.” Minnesota’s Governor Tim Pawlenty, a 2012 Presidential hopeful, is set to veto a bill that would pay health care costs for 85,000 of the state’s poorest and sickest residents.
The bill he is threatening to kill is a stripped-down version of a similar bill he vetoed last year.
The thing that raises our gall is how this politician is going to be all over the airwaves next year courting the “Christian Conservative” vote. And what’s worse, this move will likely endear him to those folks.
Pawlenty is far from being the only politician guilty of this; their ranks are legion. Their opposition to abortion, but acceptance of war – if it’s on someone else’s soil – is incongruous. Their vilification of those whose definition of love does not fit theirs is unfortunate. But their disregard for the health of those on the fringes of society is inexcusable.
I don’t care if someone is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or anything else. Whatever brings comfort and meaning to someone’s life is between them and their own personal god(s). But this hijacking of any religion for political reasons is nauseating.
Here’s a little preemptive advice to all candidates for any office: If your own personal religion can be summed up with the words “no taxes,” don’t use churches and clergy for photo ops and don’t use religion as an excuse for your stance on any issue. Don’t give speeches about “values.”
It would be refreshing to hear a politician who opposes health care for the less fortunate to simply say that their lower taxes are more important than the life of an elderly person who cannot provide for himself or herself. Or to say that political contributions to their campaigns are more important than legislative changes that would let those with pre-existing conditions purchase coverage in the open market, thus avoiding bankruptcy.
There are plenty of voters in the “Selfish Bastard Party.” Just look at the comments to any story about health care reform in any major newspaper. Or tune your radio to a talk station. If you promise to lower their taxes, and to be against anyone who doesn’t fit their socio-economic group, they will be with you forever.
“Who would Jesus insure?” Leave religion out of your campaign and you won’t have to look in a mirror and ask yourself this most inconvenient question.