Issues End Mass Criminalization VA Medicaid Expansion Virginia Legislator Likens Medicaid Expansion To A ‘Tar Baby’
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 00:00

Virginia Legislator Likens Medicaid Expansion To A ‘Tar Baby’

Written by  Josh Israel | ThinkProgress

Virginia State Senator Frank M. Ruff’s (R) ardent opposition to the Medicaid expansion offered to the states under the Affordable Care Act took a new turn on Tuesday. Ruff confirmed to ThinkProgress that he “compared reliance on promised funds to provide health insurance for thousands of low-income Virginians to a ‘tar baby,’” a statement that was first reported in the Virginian-Pilot.

Ruff told attendees at the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce’s legislative breakfast that Virginia would be stuck if Medicaid expansion became financially disadvantageous in the future, like a “tar baby.” The Virginian-Pilot noted that the term “comes from the Uncle Remus collection of African American folklore tales published in the post-Reconstruction South and written in the eye dialect of rural blacks of that era,” and is “perceived as a racial slur against African Americans in some circles.”

John Gilstrap, a member of the Danville City Council, denounced the comment as “not a correct statement to make” and “offensive to a couple African Americans in the audience.” Gilstrap told the Pilot that Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders had walked out of the meeting after Ruff’s comparison.

In an email, Ruff told ThinkProgress, “Speaking with no prepared remarks I used the term ‘tar baby’ referring to a sticky situation one time. Never have I ever heard this as a racial term. I called the Mayor yesterday afternoon to clarify that. I consider Sherman a friend and do not expect this to change our working together in the future for all of the people of the region.”

Ruff was one of 17 Senate Republicans to vote against accepting billions of dollars in federal funding to expand Medicaid eligibility to roughly 400,000 Virginians. Ruff and other legislative Republicans say they are worried that the promised federal funding will not come through, and thus have voted to effectively let $5 million each day of Virginians’ tax dollars subsidize other states that have opted into the expansion. Though the expansion passed the Democratic Party-controlled Senate (with three Republicans joining all 20 Democrats) and enjoys the strong support of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), the Republican-controlled House of Delegates has, thus far, refused to accept it.

A standoff over this issue prevented agreement on a state budget and a special session has been called for next week. At the breakfast, Ruff expressed hope that Democrats would accept a “clean budget” without the expansion, effectively surrendering their leverage.

Link to original article from ThinkProgress

Read 1338 times

End Mass Criminalization Articles

Brave New Foundation - For Profit Prisons

Brave New Foundation For Profit Prisons

Henry Rollins narrates the Prison Profiteers video series profiling the powerful institutions benefiting from locking up too many people for too long. See all the vids and take action here: #prisonprofiteers

Henry Rollins On Prison Profiteers. Better Watch It.

Henry Rollins On Prison Profiteers. Better Watch It.
The Get-Rich-Quick Plan That’s Actually Killing People
Could Anyone Possibly Think This Phone Company Isn’t Horrible?
Sometimes Cops Find Your Stolen Car. Sometimes Cops Stole It.

Should It Cost Less to Get Out of Jail If You’re Rich?
We’re Being Robbed But The People Doing It Will Never Go To Prison
Mistreating People + Lobbying = More Money

PDA In Your State

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab


Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number



Like End Mass Criminalization on Facebook

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently a supporter, they may not be aware that the legislation exists. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request for support. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.


School to Prison Pipeline

Abolish the SHU - CA Legislative Testimony

50 Years After I Have a Dream - We Have a New Dream Ending Mass Incarceration

Do You Think Mass Incarceration Matters? Depends Who You Are.

Dream Defenders Demand End to Racial Profiling, School to Prison Pipeline, End Stand Your Ground

Mother of CA Prisoner On Hunger Strike: The System Is Designed to Drive You Insane