By Shawn Rice
Was Senator Mitch McConnell’s care and rehabilitation when he had polio as a child funded by the U.S. government? Partisan web sites have misrepresented the source of funding for the Republican senator’s care as an infant in Alabama. Where did the misinformation originate?
The Occupy Democrats Facebook page posted a meme on June 22, 2017, claiming that the government paid for McConnell’s care and rehabilitation when he contracted polio as an infant in the 1940s. This claim is contrasted with McConnell’s support for the Senate Republican health care plan.
As a kid, Mitch McConnell had polio, and the government paid for ALL of his care and rehabilitation. Now, as the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, McConnell is taking government-funded care away from tens of millions of Americans. Let that sink in.
To further support this claim, an article accompanied the meme reporting that government-sponsored, publicly funded healthcare saved the young McConnell’s life.
Mitch McConnell has been relentlessly working to roll back Medicaid and deprive millions of Americans of government-sponsored healthcare coverage for eight years now.
But if it weren’t for the government, McConnell wouldn’t be able to walk at all.
Young Mitch came down with a terrible case of polio as a child in Alabama. “My mother was, of course, like many mothers of young polio victims, perplexed about what to do, anxious about whether I would be disabled for the rest of my life” he admitted in a 2005 interview.
But luckily for him, his mother took him 50 miles to the Warm Springs, where President Roosevelt won his own battle with polio and established a polio treatment center that was paid for by the public.
President Roosevelt asked the people of America to send in dimes to the White House as part of his “March of the Dimes” foundation. Over two and a half million dimes were mailed in, and they paid for Mitch’s physical therapy and treatment.
A Death and Taxes article posted on the same date also reported a similar story.
How did Warm springs fund McConnell’s therapy, you ask? This was two decades before Lyndon Johnson launched federal health coverage by signing into law the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. In the mid-30s, Roosevelt and his law partner Basil O’Connor founded the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation and started organizing fundraising balls around the country.
By 1938, however, the balls grew less effective and the president needed a new strategy. Using a phrase coined by vaudeville entertainer Eddie Cantor, “March of Dimes” — a spin on the popular newsreel series “March of Time” — Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes foundation and launched a campaign asking the public to mail ten-cent donations to the White House. Within a month, Roosevelt received around 2,680,000 dimes. The campaign continued through WWII.
McConnell started visiting Warm Springs in 1944. In other words, he overcame polio with the help of public money allocated by the White House.
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Source:: Business 2 Community