“Compassionate conservatism” my ass
As Republicans in Congress waste valuable time and money trying to gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even as our country is about to default on its debts, Florida has found a new way to screw poor people without health care insurance.
The federal government is funding groups called “Navigators” to help guide people through the process of applying for health insurance through the new ACA insurance exchanges. As Amy spelled out earlier this week, Congressional Republicans are doing their damnedest to kneecap these agencies before they can even begin their important work. Florida is now jumping on the band wagon with both feet. Earlier this week, deputy DOH secretary for statewide services in Florida C. Meade Grigg issued an order banning Navigators from state health facilities:
[T]he staff may accept informational materials from the Navigators to hand out upon request.
“However, Navigators will not conduct activities on the grounds of the health departments,” Grigg wrote. He said the policy was developed after some had asked DOH for permission to operate within state facilities, presumably because uninsured people often seek treatment there.
Dr. Marc Yacht, retired Pasco County Health Director, said the policy will “significantly compromise a multitude of needy Floridians from getting critical health care.” He called it “cruel and irresponsible.” […]
Even if state officials were making it easier for them, the Navigators already faced a huge challenge in Florida, with its 3.8 million uninsured. They are still being hired and trained; after they pass an exam they must go through state-required criminal background checks .
It’s probably time to rename these facilities in Florida. It’s no longer accurate to call them “health” departments when the state government is actively working to ensure that they do not help residents obtain lifesaving health insurance coverage. One can only assume that Grigg is not a doctor since this action is in direct contradiction to the Hippocratic Oath.
This goes beyond “cruel and irresponsible”. It’s an intentionally harmful act against the most vulnerable members of our society. If there is such a thing as karmic justice, C. Meade Grigg is in for a serious world of hurt full of pain and suffering from which he is denied relief.
For shame, Mr. Grigg. For shame.