The depths of Republican cruelty is on full display this week after the House passed the disastrous unread/unscored bill that we will forever call Trumpcare. It seems though, that even some Republicans are admitting that single payer or at least some form of actual universal healthcare is ideal, but, at least according to ex-congressman and deadbeat dad Joe Walsh, we can’t have nice things because we have black people.
Walsh, who for some unfathomable reason, is an MSNBC contributor, sparred with host Ali Velshi, who told the ex-congressman that our healthcare system ranks last among the 11 wealthiest nations. All the others have universal healthcare. That’s when things turned ugly.
“You can’t compare the rest of the world to us,” Walsh replied. “They do not have the big diverse populations that we have. They do not have the inner-city populations that we have.”
Later, when Velshi brought up the point again — that the United States ranks poorly in life expectancy, access to care and a variety of other measures — Walsh again brought up diversity.
“I love you, my friend, but you cannot — Sweden does not have our inner-city population,” he said. “Norway, these countries do not have — you’re talking about countries the size of India with homogenous populations, Ali. You can’t compare them to what we have!”
Source: Talking Points Memo
Velshi, to his credit, didn’t back down. He mentioned Canada, which is actually more ethnically diverse than the United States and has better health care.
Here’s the video:
Walsh, of course, has the entire issue completely backwards. Yes, people of color, and in particular African-Americans and Hispanics, do have a lower life expectancy, although that is improving. But that’s not because they are black, as Walsh implies. It’s because they are more likely to live in poverty and they are less likely to have insurance.
While a plurality (45%) of the uninsured are non-Hispanic Whites, people of color are at higher risk of being uninsured than Whites. People of color make up 41% of the nonelderly U.S. population but account for over half of the total nonelderly uninsured population (Figure 4). The disparity in insurance coverage is especially high for Hispanics, who account for 20% of the nonelderly population but nearly a third (32%) of the nonelderly uninsured population. Hispanics and Blacks have significantly higher uninsured rates (17.2% and 12.2%, respectively) than Whites (8.1%).
Instead of addressing poverty and lack of healthcare availability, Republicans like Walsh would rather use this totally fixable disparity to deepen the racial divide in this country and to foster hate. As for Walsh, he might as well wear that hood you know he owns in public. He’s not even pretending anymore.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images