A former state senator now the Vice Chair of the Arizona GOP says if he were in charge of Medicaid he would make sterilization mandatory for poor, unemployed women, and subject their homes to government inspections.
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“You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I’d do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations,” Russell Pearce told listeners on his talk show this week on station KKNT, The Patriot "Intelligent Talk" radio.
"Then we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”
Pearce, who is now the the Vice Chair of the Arizona GOP, and takes an $85,000 per year government salary for a job that was reconstituted just for him, but claims to be a champion of small government. His latest government job? Convincing elderly Arizona residents to sign up for government assistance.
But Pearce is fervently against government assistance, at least he says so on his conservative talk radio show.
“No cash for Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, you’d only get money for 15-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and powdered milk – all the powdered milk you can haul away,” Pearce, discussing food stamps, said this week. “If you want a steak or frozen pizza, then you’d have to get a job.”
The life-long fifth-generation Arizonan and Tea Party supporter made history for being the chief sponsor of Arizona's infamous anti-immigrant legislation, SB1070. Parts of that law were struck down in federal court. Pearce later made history by becoming the first Arizona state legislator to be successfully removed from office in a recall election.
Pearce had a few other ideas to share with his radio audience.
People on government assistance programs, again, were he in charge, would be told they have to maintain their property "in a clean, good state of repair, and your home will be subjected to an inspection at any time, possessions will be inventoried."
"If you want a plasma TV or an X-Box 360, then get a job," Pearce added, not mentioning that Medicaid recipients are often employed, but live at, near, or below the poverty line.