Pruitt – Medicaid Recipients Like “Children” With “Toy”
You may remember House Republican Majority Leader Lance Pruitt. You may not want to remember him, but there he is anyway. He’s the one who, on the floor of the legislature last session said it was important that we not let the American people believe that the United States Supreme Court was the final word, judicially.
(let that sink in)
Rep. Max Gruenberg, an attorney and person-who-must-have-taken-a-Government-101-class, gently informed him that YES the United States Supreme Court DOES, in fact, have the last word.
Now, Pruitt has once again put his foot in his mouth – this time in an attempt to answer a reporter’s question about recently-announced legislation designed to allow the acceptance of federal funding for Medicaid expansion in Alaska. Governor Parnell recently rejected federal funds for Medicaid means that 40,000 Alaskans will lose the opportunity to obtain health insurance.
“It’s like a child, when you give them something, you give them a toy, you’re not going to yank it out of their hands, and that’s essentially what this is,” Pruitt said in a press conference.
You, Alaskan in need, are a child. And life saving treatment for injury and disease? That’s a toy.
Pruitt noted that he “probably speaks for others in the caucus.”
Perhaps, since Rep. Pruitt feels so strongly about setting this precedent, he should put his own toy back on the shelf and give up his own government health insurance. And so should the others he “probably speaks for.”
“Lance Pruitt should apologize and stop demeaning the 41,500 Alaskans who could obtain health care with Medicaid expansion,” said Mike Wenstrup, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party. “If Pruitt thinks health care is no more necessary than a toy, then he is completely out of touch with the economic realities facing Alaskans who are seeking affordable health coverage.”
Medicaid expansion unveiled today by Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anch) and Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anch) would accept federal Medicaid funding but allow Alaska to withdraw from the program in the unlikely event that the federal government decided to stop funding its share in the future.