Republican Says Poor People ‘Just Don’t Want Health Care’

Fatimah Mazhar
“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” said Roger Marshall. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”



You might remember Republican Congressman Roger Marshall from that “dabbing” incident that took place between his 17-year-old son and House Speaker Paul Ryan in January.

Marshall is making headlines again this week — this time, though, because of his absurd claims about people who can’t afford health care.

The first-term congressman, who is among the group of doctors helping the GOP repeal and replace Obamacare, suggested poor people don’t want to take care of themselves.

“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’ ” Marshall told STAT in response to a question about Medicaid. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

However, he didn’t stop there. He went on to blame people relying on Medicaid for their ailments.

“Just like homeless people. … I think just morally, spiritually, socially, [some people] just don’t want health care,” he said. “The Medicaid population, which is [on] a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising. And I’m not judging, I’m just saying socially that’s where they are.”

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Backlash ensued, understandably.  




“These are people who are out there, working hard, paying their bills, and to have their elected member of Congress pointing their finger at them I’m sure is disappointing,” David Jordan, executive director of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, told the Kansas City Star.

Now, as bafflingly ignorant and offensive as the answer may be, it’s not surprising coming from Marshall, who, like other Republicans, doesn’t have a proper defense for the GOP’s new health care plan, which could rob as many as one in six people of their health insurance.

Just a few days ago, another absurd comment came from a Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz who said low-income Americans should stop spending hundreds of dollars on iPhones and instead invest in their own health care.

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