Welfare Cadillac Queens Drive BMWs Now

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour thinks Mississippi’s poor people are too well off.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) said states should also be free, for instance, to compel Medicaid patients to pay for part of their medicine, saying, “We have people pull up at the pharmacy window in a BMW and say they can’t afford their co-payment.”

Glenn Kessler fact checks this statement, and notes,

Mississippi provides some of the lowest Medicaid benefits to working adults in the nation. A parent who isn’t working can qualify only if annual family income is less than 24 percent of the poverty line. Working parents qualify only if they make no more than 44 percent of the federal poverty level. Seniors and people with disabilities are eligible with income at 80 percent of the poverty line. Pregnant women do better — they’re eligible with income up to 185 percent of the poverty level.

Translated from the federal poverty guidelines, that means a working Mississippi couple with one child could earn no more than $8,150 a year and still qualify for Medicaid, seniors and people with disabilities could earn no more than $8,700, and a pregnant woman could earn no more than $20,000 a year.

Kessler then checked classified ads in Mississippi newspapers and found “Four grand, for instance, would get you a 1996 BMW 328i with 237,000 miles on it.” But four grand seems a stretch for people with an annual income of eight grand, don’t you think?

And what does it say about the decline of American cars that the Cadillac has been replaced by a foreign car as the metaphor for decadent luxury?

Anyway, reading further into Kessler’s article, Barbour says that people on Medicaid only have to say they can’t afford the co-payment, and then they don’t have to pay it. Lucky duckies! Gov. Barbour wants to put an end to that and make those people cough up their co-payments, because they are cheating the providers.

However, seems to me a working couple with one child making no more than $8,150 a year probably can’t afford much of anything, including co-payments.

Elsewhere: Palm trees grow in Wisconsin! But wouldn’t that be proof of global warming?

17 thoughts on “Welfare Cadillac Queens Drive BMWs Now

  1. “We have people pull up at the pharmacy window in a BMW and say they can’t afford their co-payment.”

    I hate to see Haley make such stupid comments, too many more and we won’t be able to watch the follies when he runs for president!

  2. Those with the bully pulpit or a microphone in their hand can make up as much stuff as their imagination can conjure. And the Corporate-whore media just repeat it with absolutely no fact checking. Any corrections will be on page B-7.

  3. Way back in 1976, I saw then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan make a speech. Among the gibberish he talked about was “the woman in Chicago with 3 Cadillacs and living at the Hilton, but she was on welfare.” It was a story he repeated often, with variations each time (sometimes it was 2 Cadillacs plus a Mercedes, and she was living at the Hilton).

    Anyway, after becoming president, he was at one time challenged to produce a name or some other evidence that the Cadillac welfare-queen actually existed. His staff scoured the news archives, and couldn’t find anyone who matched his story. Reagan said he “read it somewhere” but remember just where that was.

    Of course, in this era of astroturfing, the Washington Times, Fox News or Rush Limbaugh could instantly whip up a study by the Heritage Foundation claiming that 84% of Medicare recipients own both a Cadillac and a BMW and take vacations on the French Riviera.

  4. I know I don’t have enough information to make this assumption, but would I be correct in assuming that the Welfare Queen from Chicago that Reagan referred to was an African-American? Or is that just my own stereotypical prejudices coming into play? I’m pretty positive that the all American, Ronald Reagan, wouldn’t purposely denigrate any segment of American society.

    Maybe it’s the Cadillac that leads me to my assumption?…Ya, think!

  5. I did a little Googling and found this:

    When a welfare recipient in Chicago was publicly exposed in 1977 for having defrauded state welfare programs out of $8,000 by using two identities, Reagan transformed the news report into a story regarding a “welfare queen” who drove a Cadillac and who collected an annual tax-free income of $150,000 by using “eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and . . . collecting veterans’ benefits on four nonexisting deceased husbands.” Reagan repeated this story of the Chicago welfare queen multiple times over the years, growing it like some kind of political fish-story with each re-telling. In the end, it seems clear that he could not distinguish his own mythical version from the historical one.


  6. It is clear that the conservative leadership is not going to be happy until poor Americans are starving. Since they are also hell bent on destroying the institutional foundations of the middle class, the starving poor are going to be a substantial majority of Americans. I wonder if they also realize that widespread starvation in a previously prosperous nation with recent memories of not starving will create a very unstable and possibly revolutionary political environment.

    I just cannot understand the overwhelming cruelty of these people. The kind of desperation they insist on creating is not good for the rich either.

  7. One could suspect that these people do not know what they are doing to their country until you realize that the most powerful and wealthy of them could move in a heartbeat, if they even live here in the first place. The people third-worlding us aren’t Americans in any meaningful definition of the word, and their toadying sycophants are as dumb as dirt, hoping for scraps they will never see.

    Unfortunately, that is a side-effect of globalization – real people are no longer needed.

  8. As Candide wrote, Barbour (amazingly) is pulling a Reagan – trying to dust off Ronnie’s welfare Cadillac trope that worked so well for the Gipper. It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, what matters is that people believe it.

  9. It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, what matters is that people believe it.

    Yeah, just like the stories in the bible.

  10. Well, I’m on unemployment, which is about to run out, so I had to sell off my Caddy. I kept the BMW and Ferrari, because, you know, I still need some creature comforts.
    Actually, I have a Saturn Vue which I bought almost 9 years ago, and that has almost 150,000 miles on it.

    If they keep this up, woe unto the rich who either can’t leave the country, or hesitate too long before doing so.

  11. Barbour has surpassed the parody of a bloated, ass-ignorant, Suthun-cracker politician, and devolved into the parody of a non-sentient being. He’s now a huge blob of protoplasm that makes frequent flatulent sounds, but never any sense.

  12. joanr16 …Sen. Hal Heflin set the bar pretty high when he advanced his question to Anita Hill….” Are you a women scorned”?

  13. Joan, the correct pronunciation is “Crack-ah”.
    A nice black lady at Wendy’s asked me if I wanted some crackers with my chili last week. I looked at her and smiled, then we both busted out laughing.

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