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Raphael Warnock: 'The real death panel met yesterday in the Georgia Legislature'

Protesters storm the governor's office in Georgia
Protesters storm the governor's office in Georgia
Mike Belleme / The New York Times

The “Moral Mondayprotest movement which started in North Carolina made its way to the state of Georgia on Tuesday. The protest was led by Dr. Raphael Warnock who serves as the senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. Ebenezer Baptist was made famous because of its roots in the Civil Rights movement under the direction of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Georgia legislature passed several bills on Tuesday despite opposition from hundreds of protesters urging the lawmakers to consider the will of the people.

One of the bills passed by the legislature Wednesday was a bill which mandates that the state of Georgia will not comply with Medicaid expansion as a part of the Affordable Care Act. The lawmakers went even further by removing the authority to comply with the mandates contained in the federal law from the governor and in essence gave the authority to the legislature. This move is viewed my supporters of the expansion as being a safeguard against expansion in the event that Gov. Nathan Deal is defeated in the upcoming election.

Another bill passed by the legislature was a bill allowing guns to be carried into churches, schools, airports and some courtrooms. It would also lower the legal age for buying a firearm from 21 years-of-age to 18. The bill also allows a person not legally able to obtain a firearm the ability to use the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law in the event such a person commits a homicide while in the possession of an illegal firearm.

As is customary in Republican led states, voting privileges were curtailed to make it harder for working people to get to the polls on a workday. Hours were cut and early voting was taken away. Deal who is facing a strong challenge from Jason Carter who is the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter is behind in the polls and is desperate to enact his agenda before leaving office.

At least 40 protesters were arrested on Tuesday. The arrests included members of the clergy, activists and several of the elderly community. It is estimated that expanding Medicaid in the state would help 650,000 residents and bring $40.5 billion in revenue to the state. Despite the positive results expanding Medicaid would mean to the state, the governor is expected to sign the bills offered by the legislature which in essence will deny those eligible citizens of much needed benefits.

Raphael Warnock appeared on “All In” with Chris Hayes today and said:

“We have heard the lies about the Affordable Care Act having death panels. Well, the real death panel met on yesterday in the Georgia legislature.”

Warnock in his interview with Hayes likened the actions of the Georgia governor to those of George Wallace and Lester Maddox. He did not call these former governors by name but made a clear distinction by referring to governors who would stand at the door of progress and block it.

With the bills heading to the governor’s desk for his signature, Jim Crow laws are sweeping their way from Florida to Wisconsin. When Warnock was questioned by Hayes as to why so many governors are willing to sign off on these draconian laws, his response was simply, “Look who’s sitting in the White House.”


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