Arkansas state representative Josh Miller (R-Heber Springs) can see no hypocrisy in his stance against Medicaid expansion, even though he himself is a beneficiary of that program.
Eleven years ago Miller, then 22 years-old and invincible, and therefore not in need of any kind of health insurance, not even coverage for a catastrophic injury or illness, went on a drunken joy ride with a buddy which ended when their pickup truck plunged into a ravine. Neither Miller nor his buddy can “remember” who was driving but Miller’s neck was broken leaving him a quadriplegic.
There was a long stay in an intensive care unit followed by months of rehabilitation amassing a bill in excess of $1 million, which was paid for by Medicaid and Medicare. Because of his injuries, Miller is one of the minority in the state legislature, the 39% of that body who does not require a heavily subsidized health insurance plan provided by the state. He gets his health insurance from Medicaid and Medicare, which even today pay for daily personal care assistance.
One might be justified in asking how someone who has benefited from this program could be opposed to others receiving the same assistance, but Miller sees no conflict in his stance and having received that same aid, to him it makes perfect sense — he deserved it and those people don’t.
Although he attempted to make a different argument when he appeared with Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s All In, his argument previously according to the Arkansas Times was that those who qualify for the Medicaid expansion, which must be approved every year in the state, just don’t work hard enough. He claims that many only want the insurance in order to gain access to prescription drugs which they will then abuse. He says that there is a difference between a catastrophic case such as his (remember it is the result of drunk driving) and these people who just aren’t trying hard enough.
He and the rest of his opposition group say that they want to find a way to keep from taking insurance from those who are already on the private Medicaid expansion insurance until at least next year when they can “figure out a way to pay for it” (the federal government will pick up the entire cost until 2015), but they have made no attempt to hide their contempt for everything about Obamacare and their desire to see it completely repealed.
As you will see in his conversation with Hayes in the video below, he is telling two different stories to explain his opposition.