Missouri’s state legislature was bogged down last week when a sea of protesters circled the chambers in red shirts, demanding their elected officials at least engage in debate over expanding Medicaid.
Rather than hear the pleas of the people who voted for them, the Republican-led lawmakers instead voted on something they didn’t describe as a “non-starter” like Medicaid:
Health care subsidies for cows.
They oppose the Affordable Care Act, they refuse to provide hundreds of thousands who have fallen into the “Medicaid Gap” between qualifying for Medicaid and qualifying for a subsidy, but they feel it necessary to subsidize 70 percent of the healthcare provided to the states cows.
State Rep Bill Reibioldt (R) introduced the measure, called the Dairy Revitalization Act. It passed both chambers easily and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Jay Nixon (D).
What’s wrong with subsidizing small farmers and pumping some money into a staple of the American economy? Nothing. The struggle of small farmers trickles into local economies, and helping them has proven effective.
The problem here, is, according to the bill any dairy farm participating in the federal Margin Protection Program will be eligible to receive the 70 percent subsidy from the state. That program, while available to all dairy farmers, is more likely to have been utilized by huge dairy farms with massive production.
Yet another GOP program that helps the little guy on the surface, but in the end provides more massive taxpayer subsidies to high-profit companies. Those dairy farms will now have their profit margins insured as well as their inventory, subsidized by those who are paying $3.50 for a gallon of milk.
State Rep Jeremy LaFaver put the bill into perspective with this tweet on Thursday:
Brilliantly stated. 300,000 Missourians are suffering without affordable health care because of the obstinate mind-set of Republican lawmakers in that state, an issue that can be solved at no cost to the state itself by simply expanding Medicaid under the ACA.
Like everything GOP these days, it’s an Obama sponsored policy. No go.