Empathy fail

Talking Points Memo is highlighting one of the Arkansas legislaturers who wants to defund Obamacare in Arkansas by turning down free money that allows Medicaid expansion eligible people to buy policies on the Exchanges.

More than a decade ago, Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller (R) was in a catastrophic car accident that broke his neck and left him paralyzed. Medicare and Medicaid paid the $1 million bill for his hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Okay, the safety net caught him.  It worked as intended and evidently, Mr. Miller has been able to do something with his life.  This sounds like a win.

The accident that paralyzed Miller occurred about 11 years ago, the Times reported. He was driving with a friend, alcohol was involved, but Miller said he couldn’t remember who was driving. When he arrived at the hospital with his life-changing injuries, he was uninsured.

Under Obamacare in he would be required to have insurance so the safety net would not be needed to catch him when he and his buddy were young, healthy and invincible until they weren’t.  In a pre-PPACA world, Mr. Miller is uninsurable on the private market.  If he was too poor to buy a plan on the Exchange, he would qualify for Medicaid in roughly half the country.  The other half are governed by sadists.

But this week, as the Arkansas legislature has debated continuing its privatized Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, Miller has remained steadfast in his opposition…

The difference, he said, is that some of the 100,000 people who have gained coverage through Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion don’t work hard enough or just want access to the program so they can purchase and abuse prescription drugs.

“My problem is two things,” Miller said. “One, we are giving it to able-bodied folks who can work … and two, how do we pay for it?”

Okay, this makes perfect sense — Mr. Miller was the deserving poor.  Everyone else who is uninsured and either drunk driving or getting into a car with a drunk driver is a lazy shiftless moocher who probably wants to get into prescription drug fraud.

This is a great reason!

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141 replies
  1. 1
    David M says:

    Shorter Josh Miller: FYIGM

  2. 2
    Rob in CT says:

    Scum.

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    So when is Rep. Miller going to pay back that $1 million+ that was spent on his healthcare? He doesn’t want to be a moocher, does he?

  4. 4
    Poopyman says:

    I am convinced that democracy as practiced in the United States gives sociopaths an inside edge when running for office, or perhaps totally tips the scales in their favor.

  5. 5
    Cassidy says:

    Yeah. You don’t not remember who was driving.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This piece of shit needs to be dumped onto I-30 in downtown Little Rock and left to fend for himself.

  7. 7
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    Forget it, Jake! It’s the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  8. 8
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m sure under different circumstances Mr. Miller would want to deny drunk drivers access to Medicaid. Why should taxpayers have to subsidize that sinful and irresponsible lifestyle, I can imagine him asking.

  9. 9
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too:

    “My problem is two things,” Miller said. “One, we are giving it to able-bodied folks who can work … and two, how do we pay for it?”

    Yes, Joshie, because not every job offers healthcare. Many of the people on Medicaid are actually working right now. What’s your argument, that they need to get two or three additional jobs?

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy:

    If you were suffering an alcohol blackout you don’t remember.

    Or you were possessed by You-Know-Who.

  11. 11
    srv says:

    Clearly, this whole empathy thing is overrated.

    Look, Miller pulled himself up from his bootstraps with his own teeth or something, and he just wants to make sure everyone else has the same character that he does.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What’s your argument, that they need to get two or three additional jobs?

    They should have had the foresight as blastocysts to implant themselves in the womb of some rich broad.

  13. 13
    chris9059 says:

    He doesn’t remember who was driving? If, as he apparently acknowledges, alcohol was involved, there was almost certainly some kind of legal process. Either he or his friend was charged with drunk driving and I don’t belive for a second he doesn’t remember whether or not he was charged with DUI.

  14. 14
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m just calling bullshit in his story.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cassidy:

    Not with a car accident that serious, you don’t. My brother is a partial paraplegic because his car was broadsided by someone who ran a red light, and he has no memory at all of that entire morning leading up to the accident. He was on his way to school, so no alcohol was involved (on his part, anyway). So that I do actually find plausible (though the cops were probably able to figure it out from the accident scene).

  16. 16
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    The difference, he said, is that some of the 100,000 people who have gained coverage through Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion don’t work hard enough or just want access to the program so they can purchase and abuse prescription drugs.

    Perhaps Josh is simply basing his opinion on personal experience…

  17. 17
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Lord Voldemort?

  18. 18
    Poopyman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Except it’s the rich broads that can afford ways to avoid blastocyst implantation.

  19. 19
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sure it’s plausible, but consider the source

  20. 20
    hueypolong says:

    Yet another GOPer who had best hope his concept of a judging God is mistaken.

  21. 21
    Poopyman says:

    @Mnemosyne: All true, especially the part where someone who digs up the accident report will almost certainly find out who was driving.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Jibeaux says:

    Why don’t these people just say “it’s different because that was me, and these new people are not me.” You’d still be a total sack of shit, but you’d smell a little different somehow.

  24. 24
    KG says:

    is that some of the 100,000 people who have gained coverage through Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion don’t work hard enough or just want access to the program so they can purchase and abuse prescription drugs.

    Assumes facts not in evidence. Please provide statistics and/or other useful information to prove this point, or kindly STFU

  25. 25

    Keep your governemnt hands off of my MEDICARE! Because, ACORN!

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy:

    Oh, I’m pretty sure his story IS bullshit, but it’s indeed possible to not recall WTF happened because of an alcohol blackout.

    Of course, that could have been established medically at the time…and well, was it? Hence the strong suspicion of bullshit.

  27. 27
    Paul in KY says:

    @chris9059: I would assume the authorities figured out who was driving & it was him.

  28. 28
    another Holocene human says:

    @KG: Pretty sure he’s talking about pain pills. Those are shitty all around but for some reason there is a deep hatred of medicaid patients on pain pills.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    “Ron, stop it!”

  30. 30
    Paul in KY says:

    @Jibeaux: You’d be a honest sack of shit.

  31. 31
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Paul in KY:

    One of the characteristics of sacks of shit is that they avoid honesty at all times.

  32. 32
    Suffern ACE says:

    Well, fortunately, if good governor Deal in Georgia gets around to rethinking things, those emergency room visits for those who can’t pay will be be a thing of the past, too. It would have saved Mr. Miller and the hospital a boatload of money had the hospital just turned him away.

  33. 33
    KG says:

    @another Holocene human: oh, I know what he’s talking about. my point is, there’s no evidence that people want insurance so they can get oxy. because to get oxy, you’re going to need to go to the doctor, prove that you have symptoms that require oxy, then get a prescription, get it filled, etc. someone who wants to use isn’t going to go through that hassle, especially when the premiums will probably be more expensive than the black market.

  34. 34
    Glocksman says:

    From the Arkansas Times article TPM linked to:

    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. For that reason, he need not be among the 82 Arkansas legislators (61 percent of the body) who enjoy heavily subsidized and comprehensive state employee health insurance.

    Health insurance isn’t Miller’s only government benefit. Another federal Medicaid program for which he qualifies provides daily personal care assistance.

    Between the government-paid trauma care, ongoing Medicare and Medicaid coverage, government-provided personal assistant and his own grit, Miller has made a full life. He manages a rental property business (some government-subsidized renters are among his tenants) and serves as a legislator.

    My question: How could someone who’s received — and continues to receive — significant public assistance oppose health insurance for the working poor? Isn’t Miller himself a shining example of how government help can encourage productive citizens?

    Short answer: Miller’s a selfish asshole.
    I do wonder though since he has insurance available to him as a state legislator, why does he remain on Medicaid?

    A coldly rational person might say a cook in a fast-food restaurant, working long hours at low pay to feed a family, looks more deserving than an uninsured person injured on a drunken joy ride.

    Let’s ask some of his fellow Republicans that question.
    Just leave out names.

    I wonder what Rmoney’s answer would be.

  35. 35
    Judge Crater says:

    He’s a “maker” not a “taker”. That’s our new national code. Especially in Red states that suck on Uncle Sam’s tit as hard as they can.

    Most of this country is delusional. If America was a person, it would be institutionalized.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @KG:

    The VA only lets you have three renewals of a 90 day prescription at a time, so you have to check in with your primary care physician (be he private sector or a VA doc) every nine months to get your scripts renewed.

    Furthermore, while you can order renewals right away, you can’t expect a new supply to arrive until you have less than a 30 day supply of your present meds on hand. Procedures in place to make dipping into the resale market more difficult and easier to detect.

  37. 37
    Chris says:

    If I may be so bold as to quote myself:

    Scratch a conservative, find a nice big government check in their past.

    (And one they’re completely unembarassed about. It’s never “forgive me, I was a sinner, I stole from the rich and I’ll never do it again.” No, it’s always “but *I* really NEEDED and DESERVED it!” “The average conservative is sincerely against government spending, with the exception of the money spent on THEM. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what the movement is all about.” Matt Taibbi)

  38. 38
    Scratch says:

    On the other hand, perhaps Josh Miller is almost proving his point. Had he not had that governmental safety net, we wouldn’t have to put up with him being an asshole. See how government screws everything up? The free markets could have deleted his ass from existence.

    The wingularity is drawing nigh.

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Not even an alcohol blackout — the trauma and shock alone are enough to wipe your memory. Your brain just decides it’s nonessential information.

    I took a really great Psych 101 class at community college where the teacher told us about her own “amnesia” episode. She was in a (survivable, obviously) plane crash and doesn’t remember anything between the moment of the plane belly-flopping onto the tarmac and someone saying, “Do you want a sandwich?” Her brain completely blocked out the whole process of getting off the plane, going down the slide, getting to the terminal, etc. She ended up with a memory gap of about two hours — and she wasn’t even physically injured.

    (The gap bothered her for years so she tried to undergo hypnotherapy, but even under hypnosis the therapist could walk her up to the moment she already remembered, but if he tried to go past that, she said (under hypnosis), “I’m not going to tell you.” So finally she gave up.)

  40. 40
    Belafon says:

    @Cassidy: I got in a wreck, a car hit me in the passenger side – I was crossing a six lane street and I didn’t see the SUV. The wreck occurred at 1pm. I do not remember anything from about 10 in the morning until 11 that night, even though I’m told I was conscious from about 4pm.

  41. 41
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It was an intellectual thought exercise ;-)

  42. 42
    Rob in CT says:

    SCUM. [/seethes some more]

  43. 43
    Samuel Knight says:

    Wow anyone else hear the racist dog whistle. “They” are lazy and don’t deserve it. I do, because, well… you know.

    Sad part is that you’ve got to believe that he’s a born again too. Wonder whether he ever read ” may the man without sin throw the first stone”.

  44. 44
    Belafon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Along those lines, it wasn’t until after 7pm that my family was called. The police officer waited until I was awake to ask me if I had been drinking.

    I was on my way to take a final in a college class, so it took a while for people to start wondering where I was.

  45. 45
    Anoniminous says:

    How long are people going to put up with this shit?

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Samuel Knight:

    Jimmy Carter actually is “born-again”, and he’s hated by many of his nominal co-religionists because of it.

    These people ignore the red letters…they’re too busy wanking over Leviticus.

  47. 47
    Dee Loralei says:

    He was on last night with Chris Hayes. Richard, you really need to link that on the front page to get the pure smarmy asshole effect.

    Personally, I thought Chris was much too nice to the guy. I woulda kicked him in the shins. Or punched him in the neck, John Cole style.

  48. 48
    aimai says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, he might not “remember” but he almost certainly knows because unless they were both thrown completely out of the wreckage one was in the driver’s seat and the other…wasn’t. In other words–he has to have known at a point in time after the accident, and quite possibly other people knew before the accident when they saw the two guys get in the car.

  49. 49
    aimai says:

    @Glocksman: He remains on medicaid because the heavily subsidized health insurance he could get as a fully employed legislator probaby doesn’t include a full time health aide and he doesn’t want to pay her salary out of his own pocket. Which, since he’s bragging on how much he earns and contributes to society as a small business owner (i.e. realtor/rentier) he should absolutely have to do. Why are the taxpayers paying for his health care aide?

  50. 50
    🎂 Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne: My wife remembers nothing about the birth of our second. She went into labor so fast that they couldn’t do any anesthesia. It was obviously very painful and her brain just blocked it all out – protecting her from a difficult memory. Her memory clicks back on as soon as she’s holding her daughter.

  51. 51
    Botsplainer says:

    We bring you this bit of laughter about Mt Gox and the ethereal currency that is Bitcoin:

    http://valleywag.gawker.com/bi.....socialflow

    Japan-based Mt.Gox CEO Mike Karpele—who may or may not be Chris Farley reanimated with the soul of Reddit—just copped to some very bad news: yes, he lost all your money.

    We still don’t know why all the money is gone, or where it went, but a combination of theft and titanic incompetence is likely. The bottom line of anyone who used the Mt.Gox exchange: your account balance is now zero.

    The biggest laugh of all is yet to come.

    AFP reports Mt.Gox is doing more than just bowing with shame: the virtual currency exchange is bankrupt, and is seeking court protection accordingly. Funny, how these people only want anything to do with the government after they’ve fucked themselves over into another dimension.

    I’m sure that the sort of Russian, Chinese and South American gangsters who were laundering their Silk Road drug, credit card fraud and gun money through Bitcoin will be impressed by a bankruptcy stay. As they’re starting to feed Karpele feet first into a wood chipper, I’m certain that they’ll stop when he says “wait, stop – I have a notice of a bankruptcy stay in my pocket”.

  52. 52
    catclub says:

    “This is a great reason!”

    This your democracy America, cherish it. As Charlie Pierce writes.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    Note how carefully he says he doesn’t remember (and even that is a paraphrase, not a quote), not that he doesn’t know. I would be very surprised if he doesn’t know.

  54. 54
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Maybe we can start a movement to have Josh Miller nicknamed “The Million Dollar Medicaid Miracle”.

  55. 55
    elmo says:

    Much smaller scale, but my wife either fell or was thrown from a horse a couple of years ago. I don’t know which, because I didn’t see it happen – I came upon them a few minutes later, with the horse calmly standing by her unconscious body.

    When she did eventually come to, she didn’t remember anything of the previous six months or so. This was a fairly eventful time in our lives – the company I worked for had been sold to our biggest competitor, I had been offered a very nice executive position with the new company, we were relocating to the DC area as a result – and she didn’t remember any of it. I was testing her memory, working backward, until finally I said “At least you remember we’re moving to Virginia, right?” and she frowned at me, clearly irritated, and said, “Now you’re just messing with me.”

    Eventually it all came back, except not the hour or so before the fall. She insists the horse must have thrown her, because she does NOT FALL OFF HORSES DAMMIT. But neither of us knows for sure, because she doesn’t remember and I wasn’t right there.

  56. 56
    elmo says:

    @Mnemosyne: Very nice catch, and I agree completely.

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    @Botsplainer: When a normal bank goes bankrupt, the depositors at least get some of their deposits back. Ouch, indeed.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Someone is on a beach somewhere right now telling a short waiter that he or she will have both the cracked crab and the lobster.

    They had best hope that aforementioned somewhat shady “businessmen” cannot find that beach.

  59. 59
    Hungry Joe says:

    Empathy fail, Part II: I cannot even begin to imagine what goes on in that twisted mind of his. It’s as if he were an extraterrestrial with a brain-like configuration that constructs reality through incomprehensible, non-human perception and reasoning. Seriously. How am I supposed to walk a mile in his shoes when he has clawed alien feet?

  60. 60
    catclub says:

    @elmo: It is weirder when someone loses their sense of smell after a concussion.

    Of course, Proust and others will note that the sense of smell is most closely linked to memory.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @aimai:

    Yes, he might not “remember” but he almost certainly knows because unless they were both thrown completely out of the wreckage one was in the driver’s seat and the other…wasn’t. In other words–he has to have known at a point in time after the accident, and quite possibly other people knew before the accident when they saw the two guys get in the car.

    That assumes he can remember where he was driving, in a country with the driver controls on the left-hand side of the car or the right-hand side.

  63. 63
    Calouste says:

    Man, that guy is so self-centered I’m surprised he hasn’t collapsed into a black hole yet.

  64. 64
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Hardly any different from Paul “Zombie-Eyed Granny-Starver” Ryan wanting to eliminate the safety net after it caught him so nicely when his father died unexpectedly.

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    I cannot even begin to imagine what goes on in that twisted mind of his

    Entitlement mentality. It can’t be said enough. They really do think they deserve whatever they want whenever they want it, but that no one else should get it unless they pass their own personal test of righteousness, and they’re insulted to the bone when anyone dares question their judgment, their motives, or their right to 1) get whatever they want and 2) decide who else does or doesn’t get it. (Or worse, when anyone suggests that everyone should get the same treatment they do. It’s as if you’re suggesting that these people are his equals. Ew. Ew.)

    I can’t fathom that mentality either, but I know from long experience that it’s exactly how far too many people view the world.

  66. 66
    elmo says:

    @catclub:
    @cleek:

    I tell you, it was scary as hell. We had gone through this weeks-long process of weighing the pros and cons of the new job, and the move, and selling the house, and we decided that the adventure was worth it. I turned down a local job offer to accept the position with the new company and relocate. So I was terrified that we would have to go through that whole discussion again, only this time presenting it as “hope you like it, honey, cuz I already took the job.”

  67. 67
    Botsplainer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Someone is on a beach somewhere right now telling a short waiter that he or she will have both the cracked crab and the lobster.

    They had best hope that aforementioned somewhat shady “businessmen” cannot find that beach.

    My guess is that the thieves are probably big depositors as well, and simply took a risibly apparent opportunity.

    Ironically, the thieves will be at the forefront of the mob of jackals wielding bladed weapons and demanding justice, just because the technodorks were inept. Pavel, Viktor, Vladimir and Ivan hate ineptitude, even when they profit from it.

  68. 68
    Cassidy says:

    @Belafon: I don’t think I said what I wanted to very well, but I was said up thread. Considering the source and the nature of his accident, it sounds like a bullshit answer.

  69. 69
    Sherparick says:

    Sometimes even we can hear the dog whistles. Josh deserved the help it because he is white (by definition morally superior and hard working even when drunk driving), and he thinks (mistakenly) that the Medicare expansion (which is for working poor people by definition!!) is for the blahs and browns (by definition morally inferior and lazy) as part of the super-secret welfare benefits that white folks don’t get. There is a reason we had to shoot the hell of these bastards 150 years ago, they raise being assholes to a art.

  70. 70
    Botsplainer says:

    @catclub:

    When a normal bank goes bankrupt, the depositors at least get some of their deposits back. Ouch, indeed.

    Karpele is literally oozing greasy flop sweat in that video. I’m amused.

  71. 71
    tybee says:

    @Paul in KY:

    honestly, he’s a sack of shit.

  72. 72
    priscianus jr says:

    @Cassidy: Can you imagine how plastered somebody has to be to not remember who was driving?

  73. 73
    Jeffro says:

    @Just One More Canuck: Rick Scott possessed Rep. Miller??

  74. 74
    WaterGirl says:

    @🎂 Martin: I bet you remember, though.

  75. 75
    Violet says:

    Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller (R)

    Lack of empathy is the defining characteristic of Republicans. It’s not that his empathy is failing; it’s that he has none to begin with.

  76. 76
    smith says:

    I keep seeing commenters mixing up Medicare and Medicaid on these boards. It’s no big deal here, since we can usually tell which one you mean. But if you might be arguing health care policy with your wingnut friends, it would be good idea to keep them straight:

    Medicare = Olds
    Medicaid = Poors

    Some people who are both old and poor get both.

  77. 77
    chopper says:

    He was driving with a friend, alcohol was involved, but Miller said he couldn’t remember who was driving

    wow, that guy has ‘honest, hard-working chap’ written all over him.

  78. 78
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: He’s certainly weasel-wording.

  79. 79
    Belafon says:

    @Cassidy: I, too, believe we have to consider the source, but in this case, there’s enough doubt that his not remembering who was driving can’t be completely dismissed. Besides, he’s enough of a shit that we don’t really need that detail.

  80. 80
    Patrick says:

    I don’t understand how people like this can live with themselves. Don’t they feel bad at all for voting no when they themselves got so much help from the rest of us? So selfish…

  81. 81
    🎂 Martin says:

    @WaterGirl: I arrived about 30 seconds before she came into the world. But I remember the urgent-but-not-panicked drive up the 55. Ms Martin had been in the hospital for the previous 2 weeks after her water broke at 30 weeks. I got the call at 2AM from the nurse. I was at the hospital 15 miles away 15 minutes later, walked in just as it happened.

    Quite a lot of effort involved getting my kids into this world. It’s been pretty smooth sailing ever since. The hospital bills for both kids would have been deep in the 6 figures. Thankfully I’m well insured. I’ve always been a big supporter of universal health insurance because of that – I can’t imagine going through a difficult, expensive pregnancy and then having the air let out of your kid’s future because you’re now bankrupt.

  82. 82
    danielx says:

    The jokes, they write themselves…

    This guy would be hilarious if he wasn’t serious. Lack of empathy AND lack of self-awareness, all wrapped up in one nice neat package.

  83. 83
    Violet says:

    @Patrick: They didn’t “get” help–they “earned” that help. They “paid for” the help they got by all their Hard Work and being a Job Creator and whatnot. Anyone else who doesn’t deserve the help (easy to pick out those people by skin color) is merely mooching and taking from the rest of us.

  84. 84
    jl says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    ” It’s as if he were an extraterrestrial with a brain-like configuration that constructs reality through incomprehensible, non-human perception and reasoning. ”

    I disagree, it is human, all too human.

    He denies his own vanity, but rather possesses it so purely that he instinctively shuts his eyes to avoid the necessity of despising himself.

  85. 85
    Belafon says:

    You know, since it’s always projection with Republicans, someone needs to look into what he’s doing with his medication.

  86. 86
    jl says:

    @Belafon: Too much medication could explain his thought process, I guess.

  87. 87
    Patrick says:

    @Violet:

    But see, that’s what I don’t get. This man was 23 year’s old when he needed Medicaid. He hadn’t “earned” anything by that age. Furthermore, the guy in question was concerned about how we pay for it. Why wasn’t he concerned about how we as a society pay for HIS bill? Again, it is selfishness to such a level I don’t even know if he is human.

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    I can’t imagine going through a difficult, expensive pregnancy and then having the air let out of your kid’s future because you’re now bankrupt.

    Well, you know those forced-birthers…every effort should be made, no matter what the cost, to get those foeti into the world, but once they’re out, well (again) welcome to the jungle, kid. You (and your bankrupted parents) are on your own.

  89. 89
    JPL says:

    Leave Josh alone, he’s trying to save traditional medicaid.

  90. 90
    Rob in CT says:

    And this is why GOP Delenda Est.

  91. 91
    cleek says:

    @elmo:
    whew. i can’t imagine. sounds crazy.

  92. 92
    WaterGirl says:

    @🎂 Martin: I’m glad it all ended well, and at least you were there for the birth. If you had seen the mother of your children in all that pain, it might have been hard to forget.

    Three years ago when I lost my kitty soulmate, I swore I would never again make a decision about one of my pets where cost would be part of the equation, and I have pet insurance on all 3 of my guys. I can only imagine what it’s like to have to live through that with a human instead of a pet.

    Anyone who doesn’t think health care should be universal has something seriously wrong with them in the empathy department.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Dunning-Krugerrands FTW!

  94. 94
    jl says:

    “Alcohol was involved” I like that phrasing.

    I suppose exactly how ‘alcohol was involved’ was blacked out by the accident too.

    Was their car hit by a beer truck? His buddy hit him over the head with a whiskey bottle, causing the accident.

    I would like to know more about now this alcohol was involved. And he now spouts about most people who would benefit from the Medicaid expansion would not ‘deserve’ the assistance. He suspects they are not working hard enough.

    But he is the type who would be offended if asked whether the driver (himself or his buddy) was drinking hard enough before getting behind the wheel to drive on a public road.

    Pure unadulterated weasel. (which is an insult to weasels, who would be more straightforward and honest).

  95. 95
    Schlemizel says:

    @Violet:

    Yeah, this ass clown is a job creator – he did after all create a job for a home health assistant!

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WaterGirl:

    One REALLY GOOD REASON for universal health care financed through taxes is that it will reduce health care costs overall, but then again, a lot of domestic “health care” costs are actually skim by middlemen. The US system is efficient only in the sense that it transfers wealth to the middlemen and the providers from those needing health care. Otherwise, it’s grossly inefficient. All those tests cost money, and more than a few doctors have nice side businesses with labs.

  97. 97
    jl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Uwe, is that you? I agree with what you say. You should check out Uwe Reinhardt’s work on U.S. health care ‘costs’ (expenditures is a better world). A lot of U.S. health care is more like a publicly sponsored private tax farming system, with the take mostly going to a small fraction of individual health care providers who have found ways to game the system, and corporations.

  98. 98
    Violet says:

    @Patrick: I’m sure he’d come up with some sort of “my parents paid plenty into the system” etc. to justify anything. Or, “I’ve paid subsequent to my accident so I’m not a taker”.

    They’ll do anything to convince themselves they’re responsible. Anything.

  99. 99
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The US system is efficient only in the sense that it transfers wealth to the middlemen and the providers from those needing health care. Otherwise, it’s grossly inefficient.

    Yes, but we live in an interesting time in which the ruling economic ideology has redefined “efficient” to the point that it means “turning the highest profit for the company” to the exclusion of all other considerations – and little questions like, whether the company is actually doing the job it exists to do get brushed aside as irrelevant.

    Thus European systems that cover more people for less money, which in any world where 2 plus 2 equaled 4 should be the very definition of “more efficient” are dismissed as less efficient because businessmen aren’t turning as high a profit.

    It used to be that markets existed to move goods and services around, but now the market is an ends in itself, its own justification, and its own arbiter, and whether or not it’s delivering goods and services isn’t even considered into the equation anymore.

  100. 100
    muddy says:

    If he and the buddy were both drinking together, it scarcely matters which one happened to get behind the wheel, neither of them ought be driving. It really doesn’t make much difference who won that coin toss.

    And you know he would be exclaiming to the skies if he were NOT the driver. Who wouldn’t ask about it even if they didn’t remember?

    If I had a glass house like that, I’d just hope nobody noticed. Whatta maroon.

  101. 101
    Petorado says:

    The difference, he said, is that some of the 100,000 people who have gained coverage through Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion don’t work hard enough or just want access to the program so they can purchase and abuse prescription drugs.

    How can Republicans claim to love America so much when they absolutely despise their fellow Americans?

  102. 102
    Calouste says:

    @Patrick:

    Now, now, now. He is a white, Southern, male, Christian, heterosexual. He had already earned everything he needed 23 years before the accident.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    And he now spouts about most people who would benefit from the Medicaid expansion would not ‘deserve’ the assistance. He suspects they are not working hard enough.

    Well, come on, he didn’t deserve all of that Medicaid money (not that he’s rushing to pay it back or anything), so obviously he has inside knowledge of just how unworthy Medicaid recipients are.

    I’m sure jackasses like this look at my co-worker’s sister and think, Well, she looks able-bodied, why is she mooching off Medicaid instead of getting a job? Because, genius, when you have uncontrolled grand mal seizures, it’s kinda frickin’ hard to hold down a paying job. Even Subway didn’t want her anymore after her first on-the-job seizure, and McDonald’s sure as hell isn’t going to take anyone who could potentially collapse headfirst into the fryer.

  104. 104
    canuckistani says:

    I’m pretty sure I was in a car accident because my wife caught me in bed with 2 hookers and a kilo of coke and I don’t remember a thing about how I got there. I’m pretty sure I must have been knocked through the window of a wetsuit store and those two ladies helped me get home safely.

  105. 105
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @canuckistani:

    That’s the ticket!

  106. 106
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    The outcome of the care for the patient is not even considered…only how long the patient or his insurance provider can be billed.

  107. 107
    Senyordave says:

    Does this guy have a constituents page on which people can publicly comment?

  108. 108
    jl says:

    @canuckistani:

    ” I’m pretty sure I must have been knocked through the window of a wetsuit store and those two ladies helped me get home safely. ”

    Your story is more credible than some others. I’ll say that for it.

    I deem your case worthy of coverage under a state Obamacare Medicad expansion program!

    Edit: Hey, wait! What about the coke? Your case is now on hold.

  109. 109
    jl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    ” The outcome of the care for the patient is not even considered.”

    OK, that is a little unfair. The conflict between outcomes and payment is the source of lots of wrangling, kludging, and system gaming by clinicians in their fights with the money people. Though too many clinicians surrender or are co-opted.

    But it is true a lot of that wrangling, kludging, and system gaming is wasteful, even if done with good intentions.

    Edit: as an example, ER and hospital docs have told me about looking through diagnostic pretexts to keep an indigent ER patient in the hospital after an ER visit, after s/he is deemed officially out of danger and can be turned out onto the street (even though that is not really true)

  110. 110
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Petorado: despising was one of the things that made us exceptional. That and the ability to write our history to make that virtue and a blessing from God.

  111. 111
    BGinCHI says:

    This dude is the poster child for American Exceptionalism.

    Only someone exceptionally selfish and stupid could think this way.

  112. 112
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jl:

    The money people always seem to win. Especially if it means more money will be coming their way.

    It just seems the real problem with health care in this country is that it’s a business with only one thing in mind. Profit. All other possible reasons to have health care get subsumed, and the providers are often as helpless as the patients in trying to deal with it.

  113. 113
    El Caganer says:

    Shit happens. And then, of course, there’s Josh Miller.

  114. 114
    dp says:

    @Judge Crater: ” If America was a person, it would be institutionalized.”

    That is the best line I’ve read this year.

  115. 115
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It just seems the real problem with health care in this country is that it’s a business with only one thing in mind. Profit. All other possible reasons to have health care get subsumed, and the providers are often as helpless as the patients in trying to deal with it.

    Quoted for truth.

    And it ain’t just the health care field, either.

  116. 116
    WaterGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I agree. You’ll notice I said “health care” not health insurance.

    I actually believe we are on a road that will eventually lead us to single payer, but it won’t happen tomorrow.

  117. 117
    NotMax says:

    Lawdy, lawdy.

    Bringing back child labor would remove those little able-bodied moochers from the gravy train, too.

    how do we pay for it?

    That’s, um, kind of the freakin’ job of the legislature of which he’s a member to determine. ACA provides the states several years to figure that out.

    But, legislatin’ is hard, so the heck with it.

  118. 118
    ruemara says:

    Dear representative Josh Miller. Fuck you with a rusty chainsaw, cubed.

    OT: I’m in Salinas. It got the drop pettiness of a worn out woman. Which I suppose is kismet, since I’m here.

  119. 119
    Mike in NC says:

    He suspects they are not working hard enough.

    Modern Republican ideology expressed in eight simple words.

  120. 120
    Bokonon says:

    Look, folks, this can all be very easily explained. The GOP and the Tea Party groups have already decided how this guy is going to vote – and they have handed him is lines (including this tendentious “I just have questions” bullpucky). Miller is going on the offensive, and demanding that anyone SUPPORTING the ACA owes explanation piled upon explanation … which can then be brushed aside and rejected. HE doesn’t have to think at all, or do any evaluation. Or any introspection.

    Sure it is hypocritical, and sure the tactics are disgusting, but Miller is following directions like a loyal party cadre. And if he comes from a safe GOP district, his constituents will forgive him for it.

  121. 121
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    Yep. Product quality is often totally lost. Pundits talk about the “dignity of labor”, yet they are in the pay of those who hold labor in contempt, because done right, it’s not nearly as profitable as when it’s done half-assed.

  122. 122
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Powder Blue Satan has linked to this thread. /wave Atriots.

  123. 123
    Ferdzy says:

    This is the sort of story that if you read it in a novel, it would get tossed aside as too crude and unbelievable. In GOP land, though, it seems to be just about par for the course.

  124. 124
    cckids says:

    @aimai: This. !!! I mean, I had to quit my job when my son aged out of the school system to care for him because Medicaid wouldn’t pay for a personal care aide. WTF? I know the programs available differ from state to state, but he’s from Arkansas, not Connecticut. Some loophole is being invoked, somewhere.

  125. 125
    PurpleGirl says:

    @cleek: If that guy wants to look like Ambassador Mollari, that’s fine by me, but at least he could make the hair crown neat.

    http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Londo_Mollari

  126. 126
    Patrick says:

    @Calouste:

    Now, now, now. He is a white, Southern, male, Christian, heterosexual. He had already earned everything he needed 23 years before the accident.

    Oh sure; in their own deluded, selfish, hypocritical minds I’m sure they think that…

  127. 127
    Cermet says:

    @Patrick: Really people?! You don’t get the REAL reason he is concerned – for the very honest reason he doesn’t want himself or any of the 0.01% to pay for even more Medicaid. They all know who has the $$$ and where it will have to come from once the middle class has been bleed white by the 0.01%. Remember, when this ass wipe was poor he didn’t give a shit who paid as long as he didn’t. Now with money, like all people with money, he/they will fight tooth and nail to hang on to every dollar. Race is only a side issue – the real and truly main issue is paying for a larger Medicaid by increasing taxes on the wealthy.

  128. 128
    boatboy_srq says:

    One wonders whether Mr. Miller should have been treated for neurological damage as well as the physical handicap following that car crash.

    … One also wonders, from the evidence, whether Teahadism isn’t a neurological condition after all…

  129. 129
    waspuppet says:

    Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller sounds like a selfish dick. I think Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller could stand to hear from the rest of the country about this. We should make sure that everyone knows what Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller is doing. Get the word out about Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller any way you can. I can think of one way to help make sure that Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller’s words get out to people, and that maybe Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller will be told the error of his ways. Maybe we should make Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller 2014’s George Tierney Jr. of Greenville SC. Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller might not like it, but I don’t really care what Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller thinks.

  130. 130
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Petorado: Ahmurrca™ only has 15-odd thousand genuine Male Caucasian Hetero Xtian Patriotic Real Ahmurrcan™ citizens – and 300-odd million of THOSE people.

  131. 131
    g says:

    Maybe the accident gave him perpetual amnesia?

  132. 132
    Archon says:

    Without using race as a primer it’s impossible to understand conservative policy positions. “Blacks don’t deserve any help”, is the rosetta stone of understanding where these people are coming from.

  133. 133
    feebog says:

    As noted upthread he was interviewed on the Chris Hayes show last night. Had all his talking points lined up, but he came across as a dim bulb. He also came across as a flaming hypocrite. And Chris Hayes was not all that gentle IMO. More like dumbstruck that anyone in Miller’s position could be that obtuse.

  134. 134
    waspuppet says:

    @feebog: Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller said that’s “not what’s being debated here,” which is the talismanic phrase they use whenever someone points out that they hate America and want virtually everyone in it to die.

    It is narrowly technically true, however, in that they aren’t talking about plain ol’ Medicaid but a Rube Goldberg contraption of private grifting and gouging that the Republicans in Arkansas, including Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller, constructed so that it wouldn’t look like they were accepting money from That N!%%@r In the White House.

  135. 135
    ThresherK says:

    If you want to rehab like Republicans, vote for Democrats.

  136. 136
    steve says:

    This reminds me of Roger Ebert’s encapsulation of the “philosophy” of Ayn Rand: “I’m on board; pull up the lifeline.”

  137. 137
    Harry R. Sohl says:

    Oh, to be young, white and clinically sociopathic again!

  138. 138
    Anonymous in WV says:

    Well, I’ve learned a little about this Republican piece of excrement in this article/comment thread.

    I’m glad he can’t have sex, ever. I’m glad he needs help to excrete, and to eat, and to wipe his nose.

    I’m aware that this makes me seem small, and I don’t care.

    He doesn’t deserve to have a sexual relationship with anyone, ever. And I’m glad that biology and his irresponsible behavior have combined to prevent him from ever feeling the wonderful sensation of being folded into your lovers arms.

    People who hate those less well off than they are do not deserve to have the rush of pleasure that results from being held by your lover. Republicans who vote to punish people, to kill people by withholding health care from them don’t deserve to feel love, because they can’t love in response.

    So I’m glad he had a terrible physical event that will keep him from ever feeling ecstacy. I wonder if the event that resulted in his inability to feel physical pleasure, ever, was designed to punish him for his hatred of his fellow mankind?

    I would say Fuck him, but that isn’t a possibility, and that’s a good thing.

  139. 139
  140. 140
    Fred says:

    Talking about what a GOPer “believes” is pointless (he believes he is entitled to healthcare but others aren’t). It is like saying that a pick pocket believes he is entitled to your wallet. The pick pocket only believes he can get away with your wallet. Hence the joke in , “I stole it fair and square”.
    The futility of discussing what GOP pols “believe” or what hypocrites they are just plays into their con. It sends the debate chasing the red herring of whether or not their “belief” is a valid POV when it is obvious that what they are saying is BS and lies.
    If this DB was testifying in court that he “believes” that he was entitled to the funding he has received and is receiving but the people he is trying to cut off don’t deserve such funding, a judge or jury would convict him of perjury. He is lying. He knows it and he knows everybody knows it and he doesn’t care because everybody will keep on politely debating the merits of his “position”. His position has no merits to debate.

  141. 141
    r€nato says:

    well I will give him credit for one thing; he is not one of those conservatives who only sees the benefit of social safety net programs when they benefit him personally.

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