In a recent interview with STAT, Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) says he is not on board with Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion because he is sure that some poor people simply don’t want health care.
“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” Marshall, a doctor and first-term congressman, said. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”
Lev Facher who wrote the article, said that he “pressed” Marshall on that comment and the congressman “shrugged.”
“The Medicaid population, which is [on] a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising. And I’m not judging, I’m just saying socially that’s where they are,” Marshall stated. “So there’s a group of people that even with unlimited access to health care are only going to use the emergency room when their arm is chopped off or when their pneumonia is so bad they get brought [into] the ER.”
A Harvard School of Public Health study showed the opposite. It was published last summer and showed that the Medicaid expansion resulted in low-income families having better health and fewer ER visits.
“Two years after Medicaid coverage was expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in their states, low-income adults in Kentucky and Arkansas received more primary and preventive care, made fewer emergency departments visits, and reported higher quality care and improved health compared with low-income adults in Texas, which did not expand Medicaid, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,” one summary of the study states. “The findings provide new evidence for states that are debating whether to expand or how to expand coverage to low-income adults.”
Other studies have found similar results.
Marshall seems much more concerned with those who come from higher economic backgrounds.
When discussing the hospital he had a hand in running he said, “Our vision was that we would look more like a hotel with customer service that delivered five-star health care.
“So our cafeteria looks more like a coffee shop than it does a sterile hospital dining room. We have bright windows everywhere, and outside of every window there’s a garden. Thinking that healing is more than just a knife and a needle.”
The STAT interview was set up to showcase Marshall’s role in the GOP Doctors Caucus. The caucus has been described as “a group of 16 lawmakers with health care backgrounds who have put themselves at the center of the effort to unwind the Affordable Care Act.”
Trump has promised to repeal Obamacare and has taken steps to begin doing so. It has not gone as smoothly as he had intended however with plenty of pushback from Democrats and the American public.
Very few have gotten to see details about the replacement plan though the vote on it could come as soon as next week.