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Donald Trump’s Racism Has Material Consequences

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A reminder that the flagrantly racist Medicaid work exemptions being proposed by multiple states are made possible by the Trump administration:

As the Trump administration moves aggressively to allow more states to impose mandatory work requirements on their Medicaid programs, several states have come under fire for crafting policies that would in practice shield many rural, white residents from the impact of the new rules.

In the GOP-controlled states of Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio, waiver proposals would subject hundreds of thousands of Medicaid enrollees to work requirements, threatening to cut off their health insurance if they can’t meet an hours-per-week threshold.

Those waivers include exemptions for the counties with the highest unemployment, which tend to be majority-white, GOP-leaning, and rural. But many low-income people of color who live in high-unemployment urban centers would not qualify, because the wealthier suburbs surrounding those cities pull the overall county unemployment rate below the threshold.

“This is sort of a version of racial redlining where they’re identifying communities where the work requirements will be in full effect and others where they will be left out,” George Washington University health law professor Sara Rosenbaum told TPM. “When that starts to result in racially identifiable areas, that’s where the concern increases.”

And there’s more evidence about just how racist the Michigan requirements are:

African Americans make up about 23 percent of that population, but they would make up only 1.2 percent of the people eligible for the unemployment exemption. White people make up 57 percent of the total potential affected population, but they make up 85 percent of the group eligible for the unemployment exemption, according to an analysis of the state’s data.

[Whispers] The primary reason Trump overperformed in Michigan wasn’t Hillary Clinton’s number of campaign visits.

By the way, when looking for a reference link yesterday I was reminded of this Mark Lilla Komedy Klassic:

Do you not see what’s happened racially post the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act in this country as being the primary driver of the fact that a majority of states now are Republican states, which was not the case 50, 60 years ago?

I certainly do not.

You don’t think race is the central reason?

The central reason? Not at all, not at all. Just go out there. It’s not the central reason.

Wait, go out there?

Yeah go out there. Let me tell you, I grew up in Macomb County, Michigan, which is a blue-collar county right at the border of Detroit. It’s known as the home of the Reagan Democrats and studied to death. In the early ’60s, it was the most liberal suburban county in the United States. By 1972, it had gone for Nixon, and it never looked back. Now, where I grew up it was blue-collar and blue-collar ethnic, and there was a lot of racism, no doubt about that.

What was motivating them was lots of issues. They felt they weren’t being heard.

Imagine growing up in the white-flight suburbs of Detroit, seeing them turn Republican between 1960 and 1972, and concluding that race was not an important factor behind the political realignment. Thinking yourself qualified to write a screed against “identity politics” is a shoe that fits, I guess. But that’s what a lot of this is about — white people who benefited a lot from racism who don’t want to accept it.

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