Gov. Phil Bryant was pilloried by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and others in the national media when he recently said regarding the Affordable Care Act: “There is no one who doesn’t have health care in America. No one. Now, they may end up going to the emergency room. There are better ways to deal with people that need health care than this massive new program.”
But the fact is that Bryant’s perception of how public health care is delivered at street level is accurate. The poor, the uninsured and illegal immigrants are in fact flooding hospital emergency rooms to get health care. The problem is that doling out public health care through emergency rooms is the most expensive means of doing so.
Lawmakers will be whipsawed between justifiable concerns of the unknown long-term costs of Medicaid expansion and the state’s hospitals and advocacy groups supporting expansion to offset the costs of delivering public health care through the state’s emergency rooms.
Anyone who tells you this isn’t a complex decision with far-reaching ramifications for the state’s budget isn’t paying attention.
- Plunkett: Medicaid Expansion Arguments Bypass Reality (MississippiPEP.com)
- Walker rejects full Medicaid expansion, says 224,000 more to be covered (jsonline.com)
- An Open Letter to the Ohio Legislature: Oppose Gov. Kasich’s Call for Medicaid Expansion (ntu.org)