We cats have noted before that America is balkanizing into Places You Want To Live versus Places You Don't Want To Live.
Places You Want To Live have Governors who care about the welfare of their people: They participate in Obamacare exchanges, accept Medicaid expansion money, protect access to reproductive healthcare, abortion and the right to vote, promote raising the minimum wage, support marriage equality and gun control, and believe that science should be taught in schools.
And then there are the states where Republicans rule — where their Governors, um, don't.
Those states are mostly in the Deep South — and if you're looking for a place that supports your health and well-being, you may want to steer clear. As The New Yorker reports, on top of the usual health-disaster suspects — like obesity, diabetes and heart disease — the South is being ravaged by AIDS. A terrible lack of funding and a hostile social environment have meant that serious public health challenges in the region, like HIV, go unaddressed — turning states like Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi into Places You Don't Want To Live.
We cats don't understand why Governors like the ever-repulsive Bobby Jindal of Louisiana aren't asked about this. The little creep is going to give this year's commencement address at Liberty University, where we're sure he'll tell all those born-again virgins to stay firmly on the path of personal morality. But where is the morality in keeping the citizens of your state not only ill-informed but ill? Why does no one challenge Jindal on the failure of Louisiana's abstinence-only sex education, the state's skyrocketing rate of AIDS-related mortality, and why he's refused Medicaid-expansion money? It's a mystery.
Meanwhile, consider this scenario from Canada: We cats have learned that the owners of one of our favorite Montreal restaurants are battling cancer. The husband is receiving radiation therapy through Health Canada, the country's publicly funded healthcare system. But transplant their story to the U.S., and what have you got? A small-business-owning married couple who would probably be financially wiped out — unless, of course, they were enrolled in Obamacare. It's something to ponder while the country celebrates 8 million ACA enrollees, and the Republicans continue to rail and pout.
Why does the GOP think people want to live in their America? Because it doesn't seem like the kind of place you can make a living wage, enjoy personal freedoms, and, most of all, be healthy without going bankrupt. We cats HISS.