Huffington Post has two stories that speak of greed, one of which had immediate tragic consequences. Over the weekend people learned that a bus full of comedians including Tracy Morgan was struck by a truck while on the New Jersey Turnpike while returning from doing a show in Delaware. One man was pronounced dead at the scene from his injuries. Morgan is in critical condition in the hospital. And a third, the truck driver, Kevin Roper, a 35-year-old from Georgia, will be due in court on Wednesday on charges of vehicular homicide and three counts of assault by auto. Roper had not been in asleep in more than 24 hours when he was behind the wheel that night. This story has tragic consequences for the trucking industry. Over the years I have seen commercials warning truck drivers to pull over. Breaks are supposed to be mandated for these over the road drivers. And yet, here was a vehicular homicide. It is sad for all, because Roper probably has a family and other obligations. Are there other drivers out there on the road dozing off who should be at a rest stop, safe and asleep?
Think about it. Nothing, no bonus, or award is worth the risk of taking a life. I hope the facts will come out in this case to learn what may have led to Roper’s decision to take the wheel ad lose control of his vehicle.
The other story I read is one of personal ambition and or greed. Democratic State Senator Phillip P.Puckett was offered a prestigious job for himself and his daughter in exchange for resigning. His resignation would flip the Senate from Democratic to Republican and allow the Republicans to block a proposed expansion of Medicaid. Once Puckett’s acceptance of a bribe was revealed, he was forced to not accept the job but he resigned anyway. His deal may cost as many as 20,000 people in his district an opportunity to gain coverage under this program designed to aid low-income people. The expansion is desperately needed because the poor people in Puckett’s district have overwhelmed the free clinic.
The horrible Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act while allowing mostly Republican controlled states to refuse Medicaid expansion created a wedge for governors to drive a truck through. Governors like Walker of Wisconsin and Perry of Texas are keeping poor people out in the cold. And in the Commonwealth of Virginia there is a former state senator who did his part in selling out his voters.