Josh Miller, Asshole of the Day for March 1, 2014
When it comes to government benefits, while not everyone can agree on when government should help people, we do expect that those who have been helped by government in their time of need will support it for others when they need it. Or at least they will support the program for others em>while they themselves are actively drawing from it.
But Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller. He opposes benefits for others that he himself currently gets:
More than a decade ago, Arkansas Rep. Josh Miller (R) was in a catastrophic car accident that broke his neck and left him paralyzed. Medicare and Medicaid paid the $1 million bill for his hospitalization and rehabilitation.
But this week, as the Arkansas legislature has debated continuing its privatized Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, Miller has remained steadfast in his opposition.
The Arkansas Times highlighted the contrast in a Thursday report. The alternative newspaper reported that Miller receives ongoing coverage through the government programs, including Medicaid-covered personal care assistance.
The Times asked Miller, 33, about this apparent contradiction: Shouldn’t someone who has experienced the benefits of health insurance, including insurance paid for by the government, understand the importance of expanding those benefits to others?
The difference, he said, is that some of the 100,000 people who have gained coverage through Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion don’t work hard enough or just want access to the program so they can purchase and abuse prescription drugs.
"My problem is two things," Miller said. "One, we are giving it to able-bodied folks who can work … and two, how do we pay for it?"
Yep. Medicaid was there for him, but he doesn’t want others to get it. He’s also not even renouncing the benefits he’s received, or attempting to pay him back. He just thinks he’s deserving, and others aren’t.
A couple of years ago, actor Craig T. Nelson appeared on Glenn Beck’s Fox News program to rail against taxes, government, and the lack of fiscal responsibility in society. As the actor argued at the time, he was thinking about no longer paying taxes because he disapproved of public funds rescuing those struggling.
“They’re not going to bail me out,” Nelson said. “I’ve been on food stamps and welfare. Anybody help me out? No. No.”
Though I suppose you could say Nelson was too stupid to connect the dots and realize food stamps were the government bailing him out since at the time he was no longer on them.
Perhaps the better comparison is to Liz Cheney, who is herself married, but made a big deal out of saying she thinks it ought to be illegal for her gay sister Mary to get married.
No matter how you look at it though, anyone who won’t let someone else get access to the same things that help them is an asshole. A car accident paralyzed Rep. Josh Miller’s body, but not his moral sense. So for opposing the expansion of Medicaid which was so vital to his own survival and recovery, Josh Miller is the Asshole of the Day.
It is Josh Miller’s first time as Asshole of the Day.
Full story: Talking Points Memo