North Carolina State Representative Larry Brown, proving that ignorance about public health knows no bounds even in the 21st century, wants to deny state assistance to citizens who contracted HIV through their own “perverted lifestyle.” This returns the debate to the era of the Innocent Victim, when only little children who got AIDS through botched blood transfusions or while being born to junkie moms were worthy of America’s attention and assistance. There’s a reason the most comprehensive federal assistance for HIV patients is named after a boy who was shunned at school, not a friendless San Francisco drag queen tossed out on the street.
Rationing care based on how you got your disease? It’s a pernicious proposal, and we may see more of it as states seek to cut assistance to anyone, anywhere, in their desperate attempt to balance their budgets.
Of course, Brown made this proposal within a conversation about his support of a constitutional amendment to affirm traditional opposite marriage as the only form permitted in his state:
He began by discussing his support for a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a union between one man and one woman, which would forestall any efforts to allow same-sex marriage.
He went on to say he thinks the government shouldn’t spend money to treat HIV among people “living in perverted lifestyles.”
“I’m not opposed to helping a child born with HIV or something, but I don’t condone spending taxpayers’ money to help people living in perverted lifestyles,” said Brown, who ran unopposed in the November election to win a fourth term.
Brown extends his money-saving lack of compassion to others affected by their own choice — including smokers, an unusual stance in North Carolina:
Brown wouldn’t say Tuesday what he considers perverted, but did say that adults who get HIV through sexual behavior or drugs would be among those who should not be treated at government expense.
Asked how he would feel about the government paying for diseases caused by smoking, Brown said he felt the same as for HIV because smokers “choose to do that on their own.”
So — North Carolinians! — don’t do anything on your own that might make you sick, if you ever hope for state help.
Pam Spaulding says we’ll see more of this in North Carolina, not less. It’s very dangerous due to the GOP being in control now:
The 2010 midterm turnover of our legislature here in NC — it will now be under GOP control for the first time since Reconstruction — is such a horrific development that it is no surprise that the emboldened good old country boys are going right for the throats of the LGBT community.
Out of the box there is talk not about jobs and the economy, but cutting funding for HIV/AIDS and pushing a marriage amendment, which has been killed repeatedly in committee when the GA was under Dem control.
“And how did you get your HIV?” isn’t the question we want caregivers forced to ask when determining a course of treatment. AIDS drugs are horrifically expensive. Most people can’t pay for them without help. But as resources become increasingly scarce, states with Compassionate Conservative™ legislatures might find it’s one way to reduce their spending on those with “perverted lifestyles,” never among the popular recipients of state assistance.