MSNBC Likens ObamaCare Oppo to Jim Crow, 'Death to Poor People' Act

April 30th, 2017 12:36 PM

On Saturday's AM Joy, viewers could witness a near caricature of a group of liberals talking politics in the form of host Joy Reid, former MSNBC political analyst Jimmy Williams, Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah, and Karine Jean-Pierre of, as the group pined for "cradle to the grave" guaranteed health care as a "civil right" and fretted "Jim Crow for health care." 

Host Reid also blamed racism against "brown people" for opposition to ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in Southern formerly Confederate states and lamented that Kentucky's push for a work requirement for welfare benefits would amount to "peonage."

At 11:39 a.m. ET, referring back to the previous segment with Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Williams railed against a "states' rights" approach to health care and brought up his over the top "Jim Crow" reference. Williams began:

Joe Kennedy just said something very interesting. He said health care should be a right. I would like to take that a step further and go old school. The Republican plan basically says, "Let's let the states do this." Mark Sanford, the congressman from South Carolina, said, you know, "Maine want to do one thing and South Carolina want to have a more business-oriented model." This is called states' rights. The last time I checked, states' rights wasn't so great for civil rights.

He soon added:

I would suggest that access to health care is a civil right, and if you let states decide -- 50 different states deciding whether your civil rights, whether you can walk into a hospital and get care, or, for that matter, buy insurance, that's nothing by Jim Crow for health care. That's simply not okay.

After agreeing, "I think that's an excellent point. I have not heard it sort of framed that way," host Reid went on to worry about Kentucky requiring welfare recipients to work:

Matt Bevin ... has proposed taking Medicaid and turning it into sort of a points card system where, to earn points toward getting to go to the doctor, poor people -- working poor people -- have to do things like pick up trash on the highway, essentially sort of a peonage. And there is this ethos that people who are on Medicaid don't deserve to have health care and ought to do something to essentially put themselves into the -- at the service of the rest of the country just to get to go to the dentist.

A bit later, she linked opposition to ObamaCare to racism -- which she has previously done -- as she turned to liberal comedian and Daily Beast columnist Obeidallah and posed:

Isn't there also the perception that a lot of Republicans -- even in the base, even in the people that are on ObamaCare and don't know it -- have that somehow the Affordable Care Act was a giveaway to people of color -- which is, you know, if you look at the places where they've refused to expand Medicaid, it's the South.

Reid then brought up the confederacy from the Civil War era as she added:

It's in the old Confederate states where they have refused to put about four million people onto the Medicaid rolls out of this sense that this is sort of brown people who just want to take, and that is the reason they want to have it expanded.

After commenting that "That could be part of it," Obeidallah went on to wish for "cradle to the grave" health care like other more socialist countries:

We're the only industrialized nation not to provide health care from the cradle to the grave. Why are we not good enough in the United States of America, the greatest country in the world, to provide that that we see in country after country? You know, right now, TrumpCare plan, the 17 percent approval rating of it, it's the only thing less popular than Trump is his -- is the health care plan, which is a horrible plan.

The liberal comedian then portrayed President Donald Trump's version of health care reform as a death sentence for the poor and suggested that the conservative Freedom Caucus would like Trump's plan better if it were called "Death to Poor People." Obeidallah:

You know, there would be limits on what your benefits could be on an annual basis. This will kill people. Why not just call it "Death to Poor People"? Maybe more people in the Freedom Caucus will actually support it then. Because fundamentally that's what they're doing. They're actually going to -- they're going to result in no coverage for people.