Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nikki's Conscience

Our governor here in South Carolina is no friend of the Affordable Care Act.  She has been paid good money to make absolutely sure that her good friends in the insurance industry do not have to follow federal law.

Last year, she took a million of our hard-earned tax dollars from the federal government and instructed her exploratory committee to find out how to reject the Medicaid expansion.  That's right, the part that would insure lots of poor and currently uninsured South Carolinians, with nearly 100% government funding.  And here we thought Nikki was able to spot a bargain.

Now her legislative buddies are working to pretty much make the whole Affordable Care Act illegal in this parallel universe of South Carolina.  Nullification acts abound this second term of the Obama administration, and it's not hard to cut and paste:  federal health care regulations, gun laws, National Defense Authorization Act.  There is absolutely nothing our federal government can attempt to do to protect us that Nikki and her gang aren't trying to strike down.

In a very lovely letter on quite tasteful and expensive stationery, at taxpayer expense, Nikki wrote back in response to a petition I signed regarding a woman's right to contraceptive choice.  In the tone of a very patient first grade teacher, she explained how there are times when we have to "distinguish between our ability to make decisions about our own health and our ability to make someone else pay for the effects of those decisions."

I don't know.  You might want to read that one over again because my head's still spinning from it.

Nikki -- and I know you don't mind me calling you Nikki because your letter indicates that we are on a first-name basis -- there are whole bunches of reasons why this is pure bullshit.  You may never have had to worry about life and liberty, but there are many of us -- in fact, many who live right here in the state you govern -- who have to worry about those rights.  The right to vote, the right to housing, the right to be able to care for ourselves and our families come to mind.

While your legislators are trying to make sure every pregnancy comes to term, neither you nor they are concerned about what happens to the woman, her child, or her family after birth.  You know, and I know, that this "matter of faith" is an excuse.  When it comes to infant mortality, you are right up there making sure nothing is done about it.

The employers whose rights you defend so shamelessly take our tax dollars, and their conscience really doesn't dictate whether those tax dollars come from saints or sinners, or whether our children have to go to failing schools because more taxes for public schools is where you draw your line.

When our government makes laws, it is not up to me, or you, or your friends in church and business to decide which ones you will follow.  Just as a church or business cannot refuse to serve someone because they are black, or gay, or Hispanic, they cannot pick and choose what services they provide to women.

Shame that a woman in public office, who has been fortunate in her life, has no conscience at all when it comes to assuring that all women have the same rights to life and liberty that she has truly enjoyed.

One final note about your letter.  Perhaps if you did your job in truly good conscience, you would not need to close with "God bless," which sounds a little too much like wishful thinking. 

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