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Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:12 PM

Starting to understand why red states might be voting against Medicaid and SSI

I've in the middle of reading books about the OxyContin and heroin addiction problems in the U.S.. I have a morbid fascination with these subjects, don't know anyone personally who has abused those drugs. I never have.

Anyway, the book "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opioid Epidemic" which describes entire areas decimated by these addictions and aided in part, unfortunately, by abuse of Medicaid and SSI, gave me a new way of looking at things.

Really eye-opening. If the problem this book talks about is truly THIS widespread in red states, it shines a new light on why some red staters vote the way they do. And it also makes me really afraid for the future of our nation.

Worth the time to read the book, if you are looking for a book to read.

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Reply Starting to understand why red states might be voting against Medicaid and SSI (Original post)
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 OP
geek tragedy Dec 2016 #1
BlueMTexpat Dec 2016 #2
uponit7771 Dec 2016 #16
SharonAnn Dec 2016 #34
madokie Dec 2016 #41
Wounded Bear Dec 2016 #3
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #7
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #4
standingtall Dec 2016 #5
Doreen Dec 2016 #33
babylonsister Dec 2016 #6
hollowdweller Dec 2016 #8
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #10
cilla4progress Dec 2016 #51
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #9
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2016 #17
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #20
hollowdweller Dec 2016 #26
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #36
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2016 #50
dembotoz Dec 2016 #11
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #12
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #14
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2016 #15
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #18
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2016 #19
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #21
hollowdweller Dec 2016 #28
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #29
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #13
Bear Creek Dec 2016 #23
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #24
Bear Creek Dec 2016 #31
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #32
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #37
Lee-Lee Dec 2016 #39
Bear Creek Dec 2016 #42
Lee-Lee Dec 2016 #43
Bear Creek Dec 2016 #47
Bear Creek Dec 2016 #22
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #27
Texasgal Dec 2016 #25
Bear Creek Dec 2016 #30
Texasgal Dec 2016 #35
Bear Creek Dec 2016 #40
Vinca Dec 2016 #38
Bear Creek Dec 2016 #45
madokie Dec 2016 #44
Bear Creek Dec 2016 #46
madokie Dec 2016 #48
LiberalLoner Dec 2016 #52
raccoon Dec 2016 #49

Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:13 PM

1. they're not voting against Medicaid and SSI.

 

They're voting against immigrants, Muslims and other perceived scapegoats.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:14 PM

2. +1! eom

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:35 PM

16. +1

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:37 PM

34. And against a woman's right to choose.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 07:22 AM

41. Exactly

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:19 PM

3. And fall back on the usual RW "solutions"...

Haven't read the book, but I can guess what the RW solution is, shut down the government program that helps far more people than it hurts, while the real perps-Big Pharma and drug pushing doctors-walk away with the money.

Perhaps we should invest in real enforcement.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:22 PM

7. Just finished a book called "American Pain" that talked about the pill mills in Florida

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:20 PM

4. Well, that's true too, just....reading this book feels like another piece of

The puzzle, somehow.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:20 PM

5. Book sounds like propaganda to me. I'll pass on it.


We have had republican fucktard governors institute mandatory drug testing for people on snap and SSI and found that those people are far less likely to be on drugs than people who are not.

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Response to standingtall (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:13 PM

33. WE CAN'T AFFOR THEM!!!!

It is just another way of blaming the ills of our country on the poor who no one wants to admit puts more into this country than any others.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:22 PM

6. Which states are voting against Medicaid and SSI?

The governor of Florida is but I don't know anyone here who agrees with him.

The amount of people who benefit without trying to screw the system I imagine vastly outnumbers those taking advantage of it. But nothing would surprise me either.

The book looks interesting; I know, have heard, read, and have a friend who is battling an opioid addiction at 26. It is everywhere.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:25 PM

8. When Clinton and the GOP passed welfare reform

 

That meant that you had to work for welfare. You also had the 5 year lifetime benefit.

A single person might only qualify for food stamps.

But you could be found disabled and get a script for some benzos or oxy and sell them and make more than you ever made from welfare.

The opioid crisis was like the crack epidemic in the 80's. Both were reactions to rural and urban depression. One of the few ways people could make decent money.

I worked doing disability/ssi claims for 30 years and I'm now retired. The thing really started taking off when welfare reform passed.

The other aspect of it is recreation. I have always found the less there is to do somewhere and the poorer people are, the harder drugs they do.

I went to college in a very rural area, at that time a lot of people were doing PCP, Crank, acid and quaaludes. Most of my friends at home in a more urban area with more money had hobbies and mainly smoked pot and drunk beer.

30 years ago people in rural areas could get a job at a factory, or in the mines or work for the state and have a decent living. Now people work at Subway and Dollar General. No wonder people are doing feel good drugs.

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Response to hollowdweller (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:27 PM

10. Great comment, +1

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Response to hollowdweller (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 11:35 AM

51. Very interesting

We don't hear this point of view often. I think you've hit on something discussing hobbies and depression.

I live in a rural area in eastern WA, conservative area with low wage jobs. I'm college-educated, spouse and I are professionals. We and our friends here find plenty to do - outdoor hobbies, hiking, skiing, horses. So, OK, these take money. Our values are those of old 60s-70s back to the land hippies. Our local friends who are blue collar and likely Trump supporters fish and hunt.

I think there is also something in there about people feeling like there is something to strive for. That there is a reason to be straight in order to learn and at least acquire skills for a trade, if they aren't the book learning type. So, like you say, when their only realistic option is minimum wage jobs, that's not going to do it.

My husband works for the local government. These remain some of the best jobs in rural America. Wages here are low otherwise.

I'm trying to have empathy for these folks. Still working on it.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:26 PM

9. Most of the book isn't about the Medicaid fraud, only one chapter, the rest was

Talking about the black tar heroin and the distribution network.

I don't have any way of knowing if the oxy and heroin problem is real. I read stuff in the papers, see documentaries, seems like a problem. I know meth is a problem in my home state of Montana.

But if it's as big a problem as they say, it's....a big problem.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:35 PM

17. It is a huge problem in my county.

 

The root cause is the economy.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:45 PM

20. That's what we see in MT too. No jobs, no hope, drugs and booze fill the void.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:20 PM

26. Here's 2 funny (sort of ) stories about that.

 

OK so when I worked I had a co worker who lived in a trailer park in an old coal camp.

She had this female surgery and the doctor gave her a huge bottle of Lortabs to take home.

So she took a few, but her pain went away fairly quickly.

However she had to pay her deductible for the surgery so she sold the rest of the Lortabs to the people in her trailer park to make her deductible


I was at another friends house, talking to a pal he worked with at Olive Garden. When the guy asked me what i did and I said I did disability claims he told me he was recovering from 2 burst cervical vertebra in his neck

As he detailed his recovery he said that "six months ago they cancelled my prescription for Vicodin" .

"That's great" I said, meaning that meant he had recovered to the point he did not need the narcotics.

"Well, not exactly" he said. "I hadn't been taking my vicodin for a year. When I worked as a roofer I made 22 dollars an hour. Even though I recovered I can never do that job. Now I make 10 dollars an hour at Olive Garden.
So I was selling my Vicodin to pay for my child support and truck payment. Now I'm coming close to having to declare bankruptcy"

So there's 2 people, they had a legitimate reason to get the drugs but economic reasons they were selling them instead.

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Response to hollowdweller (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 06:36 AM

36. This is exactly what the book was taking about...

Go to the pill mill that was run by Dr. Procter in Portsmouth Ohio, get Medicaid to pay for the hundreds of OxyContin pills per month he would prescribe. Cost to the patient, only a three dollar copay. Get a hundred strong oxy pills per month, sell the pills for a thousand bucks. That doctor was regularly prescribing hundreds of oxycodone tablets per month along with hundreds of Xanaxes.

Purdue had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars not that long ago for felony misrepresentation of OxyContin. Said it wasn't addictive. Of course it was. But the amount of pills per year DEA allows them to manufacture keeps going up every year, even after the lawsuit against Purdue.

The establishment of a database in all the states now should help end pill mills, one would hope, but still....the manufacturer makes more and more pills every year.

I feel I got kind of beat up in this thread, and I wanted to make clear, I am not in favor of ending Medicaid and SSI. If anything I'd like to see these programs stronger and for SSI to go up to something a person could really live on. I'm disabled, myself, from Multiple Sclerosis, can't work. Not on SSI because my husband makes enough for us to live on, but if anything happened, I would have to apply for SSI.

I just wanted to share what I've been reading about, and felt it might provide some insight into what is going on in some red state areas that might have an effect on the way voters in those areas vote. That's all. And the book I'm reading is not any kind of propaganda, at least not that I can see. People commenting on this thread who are from the areas talked about in this book are saying what the book says is true. I don't have any reason to believe they are lying.

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Response to hollowdweller (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 11:20 AM

50. I hear similar stories. nt

 

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:35 PM

11. best friends daughter gets ssi

she has the fun combo of adult autism and cognitively delay....can't for some reason come up with the polite way of saying retarded.

lives in a group home works sorta part time in a store...ssi pays the bills. her wages cover clothes et al.

she is 30 some years old...ain't no way she can live completely independently...so to keep pills from some kid they would put her on on the streets.....sounds good to me

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:44 PM

12. Yeah, it's not a good solution. Not saying I agree. Just this book

Has given me some more insight into red state voters.

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:50 PM

14. As the parent of a special needs son,

I can say parents generally prefer the term "special needs". And SSI does not provide anywhere near enough to live independently.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:34 PM

15. (most) State and federal law uses "developmental disability" nt

 

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:39 PM

18. True, as do many social and medical professionals.

But I was speaking as a parent, and special needs is a very widely used term.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:43 PM

19. "special needs" is useless. We all have special needs.

 

"Retarded" is an insulting pejorative so... "Developmental disability" is the right term.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:50 PM

21. We could debate it I suppose, but I am simply saying that in our circles,

special needs seems to be the preferred term. Perhaps it derived from Special Education, a well known term. So Special Education would serve special needs students.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:22 PM

28. Really. It floors me when somebody is jealous of somebody on SSI.

 


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Response to hollowdweller (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:28 PM

29. Yes, that $735 a month really allows for independent living. eom

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 08:47 PM

13. Some of them vote against these benefits when the benefits go to non-whites. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:05 PM

23. Its hard not to be jaded

But the abuse of welfare and SNAP here is widespread. Other areas are not as bad. There is nothing here everything has left. The area use to be strong union and democrat the republican policies have caused most of the damage. Now they blame the democrats and its the democrats who want this whole benefit dependency. The way out of poverty is by democrat programs. I was able to get my college degrees through pell grants and not burdened by debt. I believe in giving others the same opportunities. The district was gerrymandered and was split into now Cincinnati which is about 130 miles away and a republican stronghold.

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Response to Bear Creek (Reply #23)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:09 PM

24. You are in Ohio I assume?

John Boehner country?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #24)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:39 PM

31. Portsmouth

Not Boehner area he was to the east. Ted Strickland was are rep for a long time until they gerrymandered it out of existance.

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Response to Bear Creek (Reply #31)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:43 PM

32. I think many people think of Ohio as Cleveland and Cincinnati, not the rural southern part.

In Illinois, people think of Chicago but most of the state is fairly rural and fairly poor. Travel outside the metro Chicago area and the state is much like Ohio and Indiana and Iowa.

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Response to Bear Creek (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 06:45 AM

37. The chapter was on Portsmouth, Ohio. About the clinic Dr. David Procter set up and

Ran until it got closed down.

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Response to Bear Creek (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 07:18 AM

39. The are I worked as a deputy saw lots of abuse too

 

There were the various things with SNAP:

Sell your card, then after giving the buyer some time to use it report it lost/stolen. Of course it was always used at the place with no video cameras and the clerks who can't ever seem to remember what the person looked like. They put an end to that at least partially by putting in rules about the max number of replacement cards they would issue in a year, before than some people would call us to report a "missing card" every month like clockwork, because they needed a police report for a new one.

Buy a whole cart of canned soft drinks, then immediately resell them at .35 on the dollar to a shady convenience store or restaurant. If you have ever been in a small restaurant and they old served canned soft drinks there is a strong chance that is what is going on.

Hiding of assets- car, home, etc all in other names of family, of a couple living together who kept different address on their legal documents so that more benefits could be applied for. I ran in to the latter way, way more often than you would think when I had to work with serving papers or doing evictions to DV work.

Probably the most frustrating part of it was that these folks who wanted to abuse it knew the system so well they could always find a way, but if you took a person really down on their luck in for help if they didn't answer every question right or work the system just right they couldn't get help, while the abusers used it all up. And when I or other deputies would report suspected abusers to the caseworkers they would not care at all- they would look and make sure their paperwork was in order so they didn't get in trouble and past that always said "we need more proof than just hearsay" even after things like us just finding the single mom who said she lived alone with her boyfriend residing in the subsidized trailer and doing criminal activities.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #39)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 07:29 AM

42. Seen it

My sister works at Walmart's she sees the buggies full of pop or items that are going to a convenient store or restaurant. It is not the same as people buying for their families. After they get all the benefits they put food into backpacks for the kids to take home so they will have something to eat.
Where I'm at the collect from Kentucky and Ohio.

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Response to Bear Creek (Reply #42)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 07:35 AM

43. And it leaves less for those who have real need to access

 

That is my biggest issue with the fact that those who run the system essentially turn a blind eye to abuse- it lets the limited funds available end up not where it is needed.

Sometimes I got the strong impression that all the caseworkers cared about was if their paperwork was right and how many cases that office handled- seemed like the number of clients served was the only metric they cared about, and they only needed to be legit looking enough on paper to pass an audit.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #43)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 08:12 AM

47. Agreeed

I know people that need help and can not get it. I believe this whole thing is by design. Some of the case workers need to be fired. Rude and hateful and not helpful at all. Family clans are an issue here almost everyone here is inter-related in some form. So if not part of it you get excluded. Oversite is needed but that is the thing that the republicans have cut.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 09:54 PM

22. Market Street right on the cover

Last edited Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:02 PM - Edit history (2)

Dreamland was the wonderful swimming pool that used to be here. They tore it down. Yes the drugs are bad here and it is by design. They even started to model other cities like it. The area was test market area for Oxycontin. I know several people who had been prescribed the drug just to get addicted to it. They knew it was extremely addictive but approved its use anyway. The drug manufacturer needs to pay for treatment for the addicts.

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Response to Bear Creek (Reply #22)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:21 PM

27. +1

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:18 PM

25. Sorry, but that's silly.

Opioid abuse has nothing to do with Medicaid and SI programs.

The issue is GOP'ers believe this kind of crap and other propaganda.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 10:37 PM

30. It is

They get on the programs so they can get access to the drugs. They cannot hold jobs but there is no jobs to have biggest employer is walmart. Drugs has become the economic base. In April there was a mass murder in Pike County which I think was tied to the drugs. The area used to have shoe factories, steel mill, coke plant, uranium enrichment plant, a down town with department stores. The jobs were all taken away.

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Response to Bear Creek (Reply #30)

Thu Dec 1, 2016, 11:45 PM

35. How do you explain all the children

and elderly that are able to live somewhat exceptable lives because they have health care and a few bucks?

SSI is a fucking joke. Nobody is living a LAVISH lifestyle from an SSI payment. Good grief!

I'm not saying that Opioids are not a big issue in our country, I realize this...but many people are helped by this program for legit reasons. Blaming drug abuse is not the main issue. It's propaganda and bullshit stories that make people take pause.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 07:20 AM

40. Around here

It is not propaganda and bull shit stories they get on the programs and it goes from one generation to the next. They get it easily. They can go in and say things like I cant be around large groups of people, like my nephews ex did and then lived with his parents, his brother and sister and the 5 children they had in a mobile home. The 5 children qualified them for lots of benefits, he now has 9 children. He did lose the SNAP for awhile, they got caught buying the food and selling it to be able to buy drugs. The programs are set up only for people who have children. They work the system. It needs changed. Which would have been better done by the democrats, I'm afraid the republicans will gut the entire thing.
They have been chopping at the bit to do it. My brother-in-law had cancer and heart trouble and had a time getting on SSI. He had to get a lawyer. Him and my sister had gotten some temporary help but lost all that when she went to work for walmart part time. The case worker told her it shouldn't be a problem Walmart's has $4.00 prescriptions. If it wasn't for the VA he wouldn't have had health care. The disability insurance he had paid for would not pay a cent. He died a few months after.I think SSI dragged it out as long as they could so they would not have to pay. So my sister who is not old enough to retire works at walmart as part time with benefits does not qualify for any help at all. She does not make enough to live on.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 07:17 AM

38. They aren't voting against social programs, they're voting against "the other."

Their hatred of blacks, powerful women, gays, immigrants, etc. surpasses anything else. They don't realize they've screwed themselves, too, until they require a government program to survive.

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Response to Vinca (Reply #38)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 07:46 AM

45. That is true

That is why they need to wake up it is always someone else who doen't deserve this or that. I am afraid that they are going to get that lesson quick. If Paul Ryan does what he says they will have it done in a few months. It will affect more than them though. Krogers and Walmarts and the like will take a hit they employee thousands of employees. It will ripple throughout our economy. I think they will tank the entire country in less than a year. The democrats need to state why they are against and how it is going to hurt Anericans and vote against the bills.
They blame the democrats for making them dependent on the state. And that republicans will give them opportunities. They do not see that it is the republicans that have put them there. The churches preach the republican platform (most important to save the babies) and as to why they do not need education. They really believe that dumb as a trump is magically bringing them high paying jobs with no education or experience.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 07:43 AM

44. This all leaves

those of us who have a legitimate need for pain meds wondering what next.
I take one pill every six hours as prescribed and have for 10 plus years. I don't take two pills nor do I sell or give any pills away. I take them as prescribed.

Its been so long ago that I got a high from my pain meds I can't even remember what it was like or when it was. If I make a mistake and take a second pill say 2 hours after the first one I'm sick to my stomach and can't find a place to lay down and sleep it off fast enough. How anyone can take a hand full of pain meds at one time is beyond me.

Like I said I take one pill every six hours, not four, not 7 but every six hours. 6 am, 12 noon, 6 pm, 12 midnight. I'm up at that hour taking a leak anyway so I take my med.

If I skip one the pain comes back with a vengeance so I try not to miss a dose. it takes about 10 hours if and the few times I've forgotten to take a pill before this happens so I have somewhat of a window to medicate in but then it takes a day or two to get the meds in my system back at a level where I'm relatively pain free.

Get off my ASS is what I'm saying.

Quit sending our kids to where they grow poppies by the fields and maybe just maybe some of them won't come back with a problem.
I was sent to Vietnam where pot was 200 piaster, (2 MPC)(2 US dollars,) and plentiful. That plus the worries of war and a need to escape ever so brief and it wasn't long before I tried it and wound up smoking pot for 40 years. When I graduated from high school in may of '67 I was not aware of marijuana at all. When I was heading off to war my dad said something to me that made me wonder what the hey. He said don't take cigarettes from strangers was what he said. I had no idea what he meant but that for the longest time. Then I found pot and the rest is history. In other words Vietnam turned on a bunch of us to weed who wouldn't have tried it otherwise. Same with Opium/heroin and todays troupes in Afghanistan

War is an admission of failure.
nothing more or nothing less







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Response to madokie (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 08:03 AM

46. Controlled

Yes pain management is a real need. I don't think that is a problem. My brother-in-law had all kinds of pain medications up to the end. My daughter was in a car wreck that just about killed her and it was a long time to recover and the pain medication was prescribed through the hospital. The pain clinics that popped up around here and the doctors that would prescribe hundreds of loritabs in one prescrition are not. They were and are just legal drug dealers.
Yes the wars have been over poppies to keep our pharmaceutical companies in opioids. Afganistan is one, they have sent our troops to guard war lords poppy fields.
There has been a switch they now use heroine and animal tranquilizers. There is now mass deaths at a time because of this.
I can't help but to think the drugs that are out on the street have not been put there by the pharmaceutical companies since they bring a higher price.

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Response to Bear Creek (Reply #46)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 08:13 AM

48. None of them came by way of me

so get off my ass is what I say. leave me the fuck alone. I speak for the thousands of us who take pain meds who don't abuse them nor add them to the problems on the streets.

Edit to Add: In fact only a few of the people I know even have a clue that I take a pain pill and that few who do is the ones who I've chose to tell for one reason or the other. Its not because I was all fucked up and they figured it out on their own so again get off my Ass.

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Response to madokie (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 12:33 PM

52. +1 great post! People who actually need pain meds often don't

Get them, but the addicts always seem to find a way. This worries me a lot too. I don't need pain meds just yet but it's likely I will at some point, with MS. I don't know what I will do if I'm in serious pain and can't get help.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Original post)

Fri Dec 2, 2016, 09:34 AM

49. I doubt seriously if most Trump voters have read the book. Or make any sort of connection between

prescription drug addiction and abuse of Medicaid and SSI.

They probably think there's more drug addiction because people aren't going to church and praying enough.

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