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(LA Times)   Why is a rural West Virginia hospital closing in the midst of a pandemic? Because once a vampire has drained it's host, it discards the now useless husk, and finds new victims   (latimes.com) divider line
    More: Murica, Coal mining, Hospital, Coal, Williamson, West Virginia, Health care, Mingo County, West Virginia, Williamson Memorial Hospital, Health insurance  
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1719 clicks; posted to Business » on 17 May 2020 at 12:50 AM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-05-16 3:33:09 PM  
My yen to move to a civilized country grows daily.  Any BiCanadians looking for a mature couple?
 
2020-05-16 4:43:25 PM  
I wonder if Kentuckians will be happy with Yertle's decision to back Russian aluminum plants instead of healthcare?
 
2020-05-16 5:59:28 PM  
Don't worry. The Catholic Church will take them over eventually.
 
2020-05-16 11:40:23 PM  
Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.
 
2020-05-17 12:38:48 AM  

Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.


Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.
 
2020-05-17 12:53:10 AM  

qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.


Also, try attracting staff to fill the positions in the facilities out in BFE.  Very few want to go to medical school only to staff a low paying (for a student who has hundreds of thousands in student loans) position in rural america.
 
2020-05-17 12:55:18 AM  
Wasn't Williamson Memorial Th e place Clarice Starling went in Silence of the Lambs?
 
2020-05-17 1:00:13 AM  

Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.


Also: they did accept the Medicaid expansion.
 
2020-05-17 1:18:58 AM  
Good. Either publicly funded healthcare or nothing. We shouldn't have companies running hospitals for a profit. This is a much better outcome.
 
2020-05-17 1:57:35 AM  
i2.wp.comView Full Size
 
2020-05-17 2:08:01 AM  

Daedalus27: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Also, try attracting staff to fill the positions in the facilities out in BFE.  Very few want to go to medical school only to staff a low paying (for a student who has hundreds of thousands in student loans) position in rural america.


So exactly the same as any other industry. The marching morons who say "oh, just move out to the country" or "oh liberals should just move to red states to help turn them blue" really do not understand how dire the employment situation is in these places.
 
2020-05-17 2:42:14 AM  
THe world is littered with the ruins of settlements whose time has passed, economic reason for existing disappeared, climate changed, river moved, mine ran out, people died off.  This country has plenty of ghost towns.

That town peaked circa 1930 at over 9,000 due to the coal mining in the area.  That industry is gone and the people have been moving on, with the estimated current population at @2,700.  At some point, you load your stuff up in your car or pickup truck (or horse or skid), move on and look for work in another place like everyone else from time immemorial.
 
2020-05-17 2:50:41 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-05-17 3:10:20 AM  
If that hospital was really the biggest employer left in town, it was living on borrowed time anyway.

COVID-19 is just a socially acceptable excuse to pull the plug. Sorry, folks, your brother OD's again, you're on your own. Blame China.
 
2020-05-17 6:36:10 AM  

MikeyFuccon: If that hospital was really the biggest employer left in town, it was living on borrowed time anyway.

COVID-19 is just a socially acceptable excuse to pull the plug. Sorry, folks, your brother OD's again, you're on your own. Blame China.


The coronavirus outbreak in the US was traced to Europe.
President Trump is an incompetent moron and ignored the danger, has been firing competent staffers over the past three years, gutted regulations, gutted our federal pandemic response team, and ignoring expert advice until it was too late.
If President Trump had acted earlier, and taken responsible steps to provide mass testing, contact tracing, and helping businesses open safely then things would be a lot better.
Maybe it's just me, but shuttering the health care system during a pandemic seems like a really bad idea.  Instead of saving Americans, Trump, McConnell (the senate), and our other elected officials instead opted to save the already wealthy, who on average received $1.7 million each from the first relief bill.  Their businesses got to dump their private loans in exchange for 0% interest loans right at the federal reserve, at 100% taxpayer risk.
In a nutshell, don't blame China, blame Trump and McConnell.
Let's save American citizens over failed businesses, make testing a priority, and allow home owners for primary residences worth < $1 million to refinance at 0% at the federal reserve bank like the wealthy.  It's a much more worthwhile investment.
 
2020-05-17 6:37:46 AM  
In town the two pharmacies were ground zero for the opoid epidemic. 20,000,000 doses. Sadly the hospital lasted as long as it did because of them.
 
2020-05-17 7:13:56 AM  

Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.


Gosh, maybe you should have read the article. Accepting Medicaid expansion is not the magic bullet to saving small, rural hospitals. When your profitable elective procedures are halted, you can't make any money.
 
2020-05-17 7:31:39 AM  
This makes no sense.  People will die because they cancelled all life saving elective procedures, but the hospitals are empty
 
2020-05-17 7:40:33 AM  

MegaLib: This makes no sense.  People will die because they cancelled all life saving elective procedures, but the hospitals are empty


life saving elective procedures is like military intelligence.
 
2020-05-17 7:57:57 AM  

Bovine Diarrhea Virus: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Gosh, maybe you should have read the article. Accepting Medicaid expansion is not the magic bullet to saving small, rural hospitals. When your profitable elective procedures are halted, you can't make any money.


Many farkers don't read the articles, facts tend to contradict their hot takes.
 
2020-05-17 7:57:58 AM  

FarkaDark: In town the two pharmacies were ground zero for the opoid epidemic. 20,000,000 doses. Sadly the hospital lasted as long as it did because of them.


Is that a real number?  It seems...disproportional to their population.
 
2020-05-17 8:01:06 AM  
"...once a vampire drains it is host..."?

Subby, do you even grammar?
 
2020-05-17 8:31:23 AM  

born_yesterday: FarkaDark: In town the two pharmacies were ground zero for the opoid epidemic. 20,000,000 doses. Sadly the hospital lasted as long as it did because of them.

Is that a real number?  It seems...disproportional to their population.


I grabbed it from TFA:
Between 2006 and 2016, two downtown pharmacies in Williamson dispensed more than 20 million opioid pills,
Hard to believe i know. Not the first time I heard about their malfeasance.
 
2020-05-17 8:35:12 AM  

born_yesterday: FarkaDark: In town the two pharmacies were ground zero for the opoid epidemic. 20,000,000 doses. Sadly the hospital lasted as long as it did because of them.

Is that a real number?  It seems...disproportional to their population.


Pretty sure it is...sad, scary, should be criminal.
 
2020-05-17 8:44:26 AM  
Look on the map and read the story.  There's a larger hospital literally two miles away, both in the same 'holler' that has a catchment of maybe 20,000 people, tops.

Now, the fact that some people's WV insurance won't cover them in a KY hospital is hella farked.  But if we went to the more socialized medical service of, well, basically anywhere even slightly developed, they would have shut down this redundancy years ago.
 
2020-05-17 8:59:48 AM  

haknudsen: MegaLib: This makes no sense.  People will die because they cancelled all life saving elective procedures, but the hospitals are empty

life saving elective procedures is like military intelligence.


Colonoscopies?  All ours were cancelled in my state.  You must be luckier to be in a state that didn't.  I am happy for your resident's
 
2020-05-17 9:04:37 AM  

FarkaDark: born_yesterday: FarkaDark: In town the two pharmacies were ground zero for the opoid epidemic. 20,000,000 doses. Sadly the hospital lasted as long as it did because of them.

Is that a real number?  It seems...disproportional to their population.

I grabbed it from TFA:
Between 2006 and 2016, two downtown pharmacies in Williamson dispensed more than 20 million opioid pills,
Hard to believe i know. Not the first time I heard about their malfeasance.


haknudsen: born_yesterday: FarkaDark: In town the two pharmacies were ground zero for the opoid epidemic. 20,000,000 doses. Sadly the hospital lasted as long as it did because of them.

Is that a real number?  It seems...disproportional to their population.

Pretty sure it is...sad, scary, should be criminal.


The highest population during that time period for Williamson, WV is 3096 as per google.  That's about 6, 460 doses per person in 10 years or 646 doses per person per year.  So it's not that bad, assuming every single goddamn person in the town is taking two doses per day, every day, for 10 farking years.
 
2020-05-17 9:30:11 AM  

MikeyFuccon: If that hospital was really the biggest employer left in town, it was living on borrowed time anyway.

COVID-19 is just a socially acceptable excuse to pull the plug. Sorry, folks, your brother OD's again, you're on your own. Blame China.


Just to give you an idea of that town. Williamson big event is Hatfield Mcoy reunion festival. It is in the deep heart of coal country. The "city" is less than 5k in population. The closest real hospitals are either in Huntington or Charleston and are both about an hour and a half away.
 
2020-05-17 9:32:36 AM  

born_yesterday: FarkaDark: born_yesterday: FarkaDark: In town the two pharmacies were ground zero for the opoid epidemic. 20,000,000 doses. Sadly the hospital lasted as long as it did because of them.

Is that a real number?  It seems...disproportional to their population.

I grabbed it from TFA:
Between 2006 and 2016, two downtown pharmacies in Williamson dispensed more than 20 million opioid pills,
Hard to believe i know. Not the first time I heard about their malfeasance.

haknudsen: born_yesterday: FarkaDark: In town the two pharmacies were ground zero for the opoid epidemic. 20,000,000 doses. Sadly the hospital lasted as long as it did because of them.

Is that a real number?  It seems...disproportional to their population.

Pretty sure it is...sad, scary, should be criminal.

The highest population during that time period for Williamson, WV is 3096 as per google.  That's about 6, 460 doses per person in 10 years or 646 doses per person per year.  So it's not that bad, assuming every single goddamn person in the town is taking two doses per day, every day, for 10 farking years.


It serves more than just the city. There is literally nothing in surrounding counties (including the Kentucky side)so a lot more than 5k people.
 
2020-05-17 11:09:42 AM  
Virgin Sandwich
Youtube DR2rGt_4T4A
 
2020-05-17 12:00:17 PM  

Daedalus27: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Also, try attracting staff to fill the positions in the facilities out in BFE.  Very few want to go to medical school only to staff a low paying (for a student who has hundreds of thousands in student loans) position in rural america.


And if you do get a doctor to work in Rural America, chances are they are not the best and brightest in their class, so enjoy!
 
2020-05-17 12:03:02 PM  

qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.


Yea, well, they had to shut down elective procedures and non-essential services, that's why they are closing now.

The reason they were in trouble in the first place and couldn't survive this was because they didn't accept Medicaid expansion.
 
2020-05-17 12:10:44 PM  

Shirley Ujest: Daedalus27: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Also, try attracting staff to fill the positions in the facilities out in BFE.  Very few want to go to medical school only to staff a low paying (for a student who has hundreds of thousands in student loans) position in rural america.

And if you do get a doctor to work in Rural America, chances are they are not the best and brightest in their class, so enjoy!


Nah, there's programs for loan forgiveness if you work in places like that.  Mostly for primary care.  If I didn't have a wife and kids and qualified I would have done it.  Put in a couple of years in BFE and come out the other side debt free.  Cost of living is so low even if you're making half during that time you can still put away enough money for a down payment on a house by the time you move back to civilization.

I'm sure they get plenty of good docs.  They just all leave as soon as they can.
 
2020-05-17 12:11:45 PM  

rga184: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Yea, well, they had to shut down elective procedures and non-essential services, that's why they are closing now.

The reason they were in trouble in the first place and couldn't survive this was because they didn't accept Medicaid expansion.


Oops, they expanded in 2014.

Then they were just in a dying town.
 
2020-05-17 12:47:43 PM  

Daedalus27: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Also, try attracting staff to fill the positions in the facilities out in BFE.  Very few want to go to medical school only to staff a low paying (for a student who has hundreds of thousands in student loans) position in rural america.


Oh there is everything wrong with working in BFE for a new graduate.
Pay right now?  No, pay will be low.
Career building for later?  No, your resume will forever say "Worked in Hicksville".  Working daily with many senior people in the industry?  Symposiums and continuing education classes?  No and no, because you'll never hear of them or you'll have to spend twice as much time traveling to them.
Appreciation for your hard work?  Hey, Cletus just came in because his tractor blew up in his face.  Fortunately the brim of his Trump 2020 hat stopped most of the shrapnel, but you need to hop to it...
 
2020-05-17 1:04:45 PM  

Shirley Ujest: Daedalus27: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Also, try attracting staff to fill the positions in the facilities out in BFE.  Very few want to go to medical school only to staff a low paying (for a student who has hundreds of thousands in student loans) position in rural america.

And if you do get a doctor to work in Rural America, chances are they are not the best and brightest in their class, so enjoy!


Q:  What do you call the guy who graduates last in medical school?

A:  Doctor.
 
2020-05-17 1:54:34 PM  

SlashBlot: Good. Either publicly funded healthcare or nothing. We shouldn't have companies running hospitals for a profit. This is a much better outcome.


More than 60% of hospitals in the US are nonprofit, and another 20% are government-owned.  Less than one-fifth of hospitals are for-profit entities.

COVID hit every hospital very hard, because of a few realities of how American healthcare works:

1) A vast amount of the expenses a health system incurs are fixed costs - buildings, equipment, IT, maintenance, and salaries and benefits for workers.  What this means in practical terms is that a service line running at 50% capacity will reduce revenues by 50% but costs may only fall by 5-10%.

2) Many parts of a health system run at a net loss, and rely on certain areas (like surgery and medical imaging) to generate revenues sufficient to cover losses elsewhere.  These areas happen to be the areas that are seeing the largest volume reductions.

3) A very large number of American health systems were financially struggling even before COVID.  The past years have already been rife with mergers and acquisitions, largely because smaller, independent hospitals or even smaller health systems can't make ends meet, and only by merging or being acquired by larger systems, which can bring economies of scale, can they even keep their doors open.
 
2020-05-17 2:29:09 PM  

Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Daedalus27: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Also, try attracting staff to fill the positions in the facilities out in BFE.  Very few want to go to medical school only to staff a low paying (for a student who has hundreds of thousands in student loans) position in rural america.

So exactly the same as any other industry. The marching morons who say "oh, just move out to the country" or "oh liberals should just move to red states to help turn them blue" really do not understand how dire the employment situation is in these places.


As a WV resident I 100% agree.  In counties around Williamson there was an unemployment rate of twice the national average before the pandemic.  That doesn't include all the people who have just given up looking or fell off the roles because they used up their unemployment.  Chronic unemployment in that area is the standard not the exception and these people are too poor to go far to find a job.  With the closing of the Hatfield McCoy trails and some coal mines during the pandemic I expect it will be a severe blow to the area. But hey at least they aren't in McDowell county where even Wal-Mart left.
 
2020-05-17 2:36:37 PM  

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: THe world is littered with the ruins of settlements whose time has passed, economic reason for existing disappeared, climate changed, river moved, mine ran out, people died off.  This country has plenty of ghost towns.

That town peaked circa 1930 at over 9,000 due to the coal mining in the area.  That industry is gone and the people have been moving on, with the estimated current population at @2,700.  At some point, you load your stuff up in your car or pickup truck (or horse or skid), move on and look for work in another place like everyone else from time immemorial.


Except if you don't have gas, or skills, or a place to go.  Where do you go?  How do you get a job that can support you?  Moving takes money.  These are people who are often living in virtually 3rd world conditions.
 
2020-05-17 3:00:32 PM  

Shirley Ujest: Daedalus27: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Also, try attracting staff to fill the positions in the facilities out in BFE.  Very few want to go to medical school only to staff a low paying (for a student who has hundreds of thousands in student loans) position in rural america.

And if you do get a doctor to work in Rural America, chances are they are not the best and brightest in their class, so enjoy!


Big City talk detected.
 
2020-05-17 3:34:54 PM  

zeaper12: Shirley Ujest: Daedalus27: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Also, try attracting staff to fill the positions in the facilities out in BFE.  Very few want to go to medical school only to staff a low paying (for a student who has hundreds of thousands in student loans) position in rural america.

And if you do get a doctor to work in Rural America, chances are they are not the best and brightest in their class, so enjoy!

Big City talk detected.


Dddeeerrrpppppp
 
2020-05-17 4:26:26 PM  

rga184: rga184: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Yea, well, they had to shut down elective procedures and non-essential services, that's why they are closing now.

The reason they were in trouble in the first place and couldn't survive this was because they didn't accept Medicaid expansion.

Oops, they expanded in 2014.

Then they were just in a dying town.


Well, the important thing is that you can still blame the victim, right?
 
2020-05-17 4:54:17 PM  

doomjesse: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: THe world is littered with the ruins of settlements whose time has passed, economic reason for existing disappeared, climate changed, river moved, mine ran out, people died off.  This country has plenty of ghost towns.

That town peaked circa 1930 at over 9,000 due to the coal mining in the area.  That industry is gone and the people have been moving on, with the estimated current population at @2,700.  At some point, you load your stuff up in your car or pickup truck (or horse or skid), move on and look for work in another place like everyone else from time immemorial.

Except if you don't have gas, or skills, or a place to go.  Where do you go?  How do you get a job that can support you?  Moving takes money.  These are people who are often living in virtually 3rd world conditions.


When I was attending basic training for the army, we had like 5 guys in a company of ~40 who were from WV.  They knew they had few prospects staying there so they got out any way they could.  So the army gave them a free ticket out of town and they took it.  None of them ever expected to return, even after retirement from the army.

I've met a few other people in the civilian world who were originally from WV and they all had somewhat similar stories: if you are smart, you got out any way you could and started your life elsewhere.  They did not have good things to say about many of the people who remain.  The impression I was given was that burning money would be more productive than trying to help these people up.
 
2020-05-17 5:51:05 PM  
Is everyone in WV obese? The photos in the article show health care workers, who should know better. America, we are ourselves to death...
 
2020-05-17 6:08:14 PM  

The Third Man: rga184: rga184: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Yea, well, they had to shut down elective procedures and non-essential services, that's why they are closing now.

The reason they were in trouble in the first place and couldn't survive this was because they didn't accept Medicaid expansion.

Oops, they expanded in 2014.

Then they were just in a dying town.

Well, the important thing is that you can still blame the victim, right?


Seems like I corrected that mistake, and you're literally replying to the post where I did that.  So what's your beef?

We've seen enough of these "rural hospital shuts down" stories on Fark and all have been from states that didn't expand Medicaid at the time.  It's not blame, it's cause and effect.  But whatever.  If all you're doing here is itching for an argument, I can totally give you one.

You have bad breath and I have minty breath, and that makes me better than you.

That what you're looking for?
 
2020-05-17 9:07:43 PM  

sourballs: Is everyone in WV obese? The photos in the article show health care workers, who should know better. America, we are ourselves to death...


The short answer is yes.  I'm 20 lbs overweight and people remark that I'm not fat.  I'm fat.
 
2020-05-17 11:05:23 PM  
What a waste. Many  of those people will  have family obligations that will prevent them from relocating for other jobs in their field. Their training and skills will go to waste.

When we implement universal healthcare, I think one of the regulatory requirements should be that there must be at least one hospital for every Tri-county area. Each should have one landing pad for an air ambulance. In addition to functioning as a local hospital in its own right, each of these hospitals should have teams trained to stabilize patients with extreme conditions so that those patients can be safely transported to large hospitals with specialty units in urban areas.

After accidentally blowing up his garbage pile, John Doe might be whisked to Healing Memorial because it has the state's only burn unit. Stroke victim, Jane Doe, might be flown to Recovery Hospital because it has a neuro-intensive care unit. Little Timmy Doe might be air lifted to a major children's hospital when that persistent nose bleed, fever, and stomach ache turn out to be childhood leukemia. Each of these patients could later receive follow up treatment at the local hospital near his/her home.
 
2020-05-17 11:11:54 PM  

Dinjiin: doomjesse: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: THe world is littered with the ruins of settlements whose time has passed, economic reason for existing disappeared, climate changed, river moved, mine ran out, people died off.  This country has plenty of ghost towns.

That town peaked circa 1930 at over 9,000 due to the coal mining in the area.  That industry is gone and the people have been moving on, with the estimated current population at @2,700.  At some point, you load your stuff up in your car or pickup truck (or horse or skid), move on and look for work in another place like everyone else from time immemorial.

Except if you don't have gas, or skills, or a place to go.  Where do you go?  How do you get a job that can support you?  Moving takes money.  These are people who are often living in virtually 3rd world conditions.

When I was attending basic training for the army, we had like 5 guys in a company of ~40 who were from WV.  They knew they had few prospects staying there so they got out any way they could.  So the army gave them a free ticket out of town and they took it.  None of them ever expected to return, even after retirement from the army.

I've met a few other people in the civilian world who were originally from WV and they all had somewhat similar stories: if you are smart, you got out any way you could and started your life elsewhere.  They did not have good things to say about many of the people who remain.  The impression I was given was that burning money would be more productive than trying to help these people up.


I'm from West Virginia. It is a very good place to be from.
 
2020-05-17 11:13:36 PM  

rga184: there's programs for loan forgiveness if you work in places like that.  Mostly for primary care.


Hypothetically, how does a person who has a kid who is pre-med find out about these programs?
 
2020-05-18 1:49:50 AM  

The Third Man: rga184: rga184: qorkfiend: Visual Howlaround Title Sequence: Gosh maybe they should have accepted Medicaid expansion.

Thoughts and prayers.

Small rural hospitals have the opposite problem: no one is coming in.

Yea, well, they had to shut down elective procedures and non-essential services, that's why they are closing now.

The reason they were in trouble in the first place and couldn't survive this was because they didn't accept Medicaid expansion.

Oops, they expanded in 2014.

Then they were just in a dying town.

Well, the important thing is that you can still blame the victim, right?


Get rammed. These people have been sucking us dry and insulting us and being as ungrateful as possible for 40 farking years.
 
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