Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Alabama… oh, Alabama.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Opinion writer Kyle Whitmire, who opines for the website AL dot com, recently wrote a damning indictment of the sad state of affairs which continues to be Alabama.

In his regularly-appearing column dated May 17, he wrote in part that three months ago, that “the Alabama Senate passed a resolution recognizing the great looming public health emergency — porn,” and that “State Sen. Dan Roberts, R-Mountain Brook, introduced the resolution moments after lawmakers gaveled in, and the Senate passed it easily on a voice vote.”

The vast majority of the state’s legislators in both chambers are Republican.

Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) defended a plan to spend $200 million on a new Alabama State House but says his caucus is “not in the mood” to expand Medicaid.

He also noted that “More than half of Alabama counties don’t have hospitals where a woman can give birth to a baby.”

Alabama has 67 counties, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that as of July 1, 2019, the state had 4,903,185 residents, 45.2% of which are aged 19-64, has a 26.8% African American or Black population, 12% under age 65 are uninsured (health), a 16.8% poverty rate, and that only 85.8% aged 25 or older have a high school education.

The greater U.S. has a comparable age distribution, 44.5% aged 19-64, a 13.4% African American or Black population, 10% uninsured (health), 11.8% poverty, with 87.7% possessing a high school education.

He also wrote that “Pollution still tainted the soil in north Birmingham neighborhoods, despite one lawmaker and two powerful lobbyists convicted in a bribery scheme to cover it up.”

To which he added that “Hookworm, a parasite everybody had thought eradicated, had recently reemerged in Alabama’s Black Belt, but lawmakers don’t care about that.”

He also noted that with record-low unemployment, and anticipating a generous General Fund budget that “the Legislature could try to rescue rural hospitals and make health insurance affordable for 300,000 Alabamians by expanding Medicaid”by taking advantage of “the fed’s 10-to-1 matching funds.”

He also wrote that State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh stated that he was “not in the mood” to discuss any such thing as expanding Medicaid in Alabama.

Pointing out that “the federal government had given Alabama $1.8 billion to help cover coronavirus-related costs,” he continued by writing that the state’s legislators had chosen instead to spend “$200 million for a brand new Alabama State House.”

Mr. Whitmire rightly observed that “For that kind of money, the Legislature could pay Alabama’s share of Medicaid expansion for the next two years, at least, and maybe as many as eight years, depending on whose projections you use.”

He wrote further that Governor Kay “Ivey made lawmakers’ wish list public, and Marsh made a u-turn — after the proposal turned into a national embarrassment and a talking point for federal officials who said states would waste the money.”

Del Marsh is a tiny man, not only in physical stature, but in spirit, and in mind.

Alabama can do much better, and should fire him ASAP.

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