Saturday, March 3, 2007

Richardson Relishes "Opportunity" to Cut Kids' Benefits

Georgia Republicans have decided that they prefer a vacation to staying on task and finding a solution for PeachCare that does not involve cutting children from the rolls. While the legislature is on this two week break, the date, March 11th, past which no more children will be enrolled will come and go. What a lame, cowardly attempt to avoid accountability for getting what you really want: reduced services for the neediest Georgians so that the Governor can keep his promise to cut the taxes of a strong voting block: wealthier seniors. The truth is, Georgia Republicans are vacationing because they relish the opportunity to cut access to PeachCare.

If Republicans are crying about PeachCare, those are crocodile tears. Democrats gave Georgia children PeachCare, and ever since Republicans have been trying to find a way to curtail the program. They won't tell you that, at least, not usually, but today, Speaker Richardson let his slip show with this remark, as reported by AP reporter Shannon McCaffrey in the Telegraph:

House Speaker Glenn Richardson said the funding fight "has given us a good clean opportunity to give the program a fresh look."

At least the Speaker is owning up to the real agenda here.

The bottom line is that limiting the access of children to PeachCare is bad fiscal and public policy. Those children who do not get adequate early medical care have higher health costs in the long run, and most often those costs are picked up by the taxpayer. Children who do not get good basic healthcare are less likely to come to school "ready to learn."

Given the consequences, it is outrageous to support programs like "Go Fish" and tax cuts for higher income seniors while our children's access to healthcare is in jeopardy. It would be one thing to discuss cuts if austerity was the rule of the day in other areas of the budget, but that is not the case. This is a debate about priorities. As Rep. Randall has said, these are our children. We have the money to fill the gap, and we should do just that. And, as Randall suggested once from the well, Richardson and those of his ilk should fall on their knees and repent.

Just what does he not get about "as you do to the least of these, you do unto me?"

2 comments:

Kathy said...

He does not want to "get it". He wants to "get his." I know it's harsh but my patience with the "gimme gospel" and hate combo that passes for Christianity in right wing politics is exhausted. And now this. As I've said in other posts, how they square their handwringing about abortion with their handwashing about children once they're here boggles the mind. The truth is, faith has no place in their agenda and the faithful are merely a tool to be used as long as they are useful.
It is about them that Jesus said, "you honor me with your words, but your hearts are far from me."

tribalecho said...

Richardson sees a "good clean opportunity"? Sorta like Katrina, eh Glenn?