HOT BLAST: She's back - the welfare queen
Jan 06, 2014 | 1173 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Writing for the National Journal, Beth Reinhard visits Kentucky to take note of a reliable political strategy. Republicans have brought back the "welfare queen" to stir up voters upset that a class of "takers" is getting something they aren't.

The rhetoric from Republicans in Congress and Republicans in states that rejected Medicaid expansion under Obamacare "carries an unmistakable undertone of class warfare, a theme easy to exploit in states such as Kentucky, packed with low-income white voters who have a strong distaste for the federal government," Reinhard writes. 
 

To understand Kentucky's conflicted relationship with the federal government, 50 years after hosting President Johnson's launch of the "War on Poverty," is to meet Terry Rupe. The 63-year-old widower can't remember the last time he voted for a Democrat, and he's got nothing nice to say about President Obama. He's also never had health insurance, although he started working at age 9. Since his wife's death four years ago, he's been taking care of their 40-year-old, severely disabled daughter full time. She gets Medicaid and Medicare assistance.

"I don't have any use for the federal government," Rupe said, even though his household's $13,000 yearly income comes exclusively from Washington. "It's a bunch of liars, crooks, and thieves, and they've never done anything for me. I'm not ungrateful, but I don't have much faith in this health care law. Do I think it's going to work? No. Do I think it's going to bankrupt the country? Yes."

Rupe sounds like he could be standing on a soapbox at a tea-party rally, but he happens to be sitting in a back room at the Family Health Centers' largest clinic in Louisville—signing up for Medicaid. Rupe, who is white, insists that illegal immigrants from Mexico and Africa get more government assistance than he does. (Illegal immigrants do not, in fact, qualify for Medicaid or coverage under the Affordable Care Act.)

 

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