Star Parker

Rick Santorum must be “racist” because he thinks all people, regardless of ethnicity, should have the dignity of self sufficiency.

At least that’s how the NAACP sees it.

Talking about pushing back against those in government endlessly trying to expand welfare programs because they make money off them, Santorum said, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous called this “…outrageous...race-based stereotypes about public assistance.”

Santorum was talking about Medicaid. The more states expand their Medicaid programs, the more federal funds they get. So they have a perverse incentive to keep growing these programs.

It is unfortunately analogous to drug pushers who get richer with each new addict.

If indeed Santorum did single out blacks, it’s not unreasonable because they are disproportionately on Medicaid. Blacks comprise 12 percent of the population but they constitute 30 percent of those on Medicaid.

Medicaid is government monopolized socialized medicine for the nation’s poor.

Not surprisingly, its spending is out of control while delivering increasingly shoddy care.

The program cost taxpayers $118 billion in 2000. By 2010 it was almost $300 billion and is projected to reach almost $500 billion by 2020.

Forty percent of physicians won’t see Medicaid patients because the reimbursements they get don’t cover their costs.

According to studies reported in the Wall Street Journal, the chances of a Medicaid patient dying in the hospital are double that of patients on private insurance and Medicaid patients are 59 percent more likely to have complications after heart surgery than privately insured patients.

Now it’s about to get worse. Despite over 60 million Americans now on this program that is bankrupting states and delivering substandard health care, Obamacare expands it to add another 16 million.

Given the disproportionate exposure of black Americans to this horrific program, wouldn’t anyone who cares about these folks want to seek better options for them?

Not the NAACP.

The NAACP wants to keep Medicaid as it is and opposes efforts to reform it to improve its efficiency.

One idea floated to fix the built in state incentives to keep spending more is to switch to federal block grants to states. NAACP calls this “extremist.”

Besides fighting reforms to improve dysfunctional poverty and entitlement programs, NAACP fights efforts to address the core problems that perpetuate the cycle of poverty in black America.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.