Not expanding Medicaid in Pa. is a no-brainer
The purveyors of perennially expanding government are beside themselves. Who in their right mind wouldn't support expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania?
“Ah, that's it!,” they “reason”; it's “the right,” as in conservatives. You know, “right-wingers.” And they don't have any rational, fact-based reason to oppose it. Even a supposed Republican has bitten on the madness.
“I think it's almost a knee-jerk reaction,” state Sen. Patricia Vance, who represents Cumberland and parts of York counties, told The Associated Press. She chairs the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. “They don't like Obama. So this is part of ObamaCare, so we hate it. That seems to be the rationale without understanding what it means.”
Ah, “what it means,” eh?
Or as the York Dispatch editorialized: “House Republicans' hatred of all things Obama is so illogical, not even the plight of Pennsylvania's children could sway them.”
Ah, yes, it's “for the children.”
Gee, aren't you surprised that nobody has claimed opposition to Medicaid expansion is “racist”? Wait a few days.
If the ignorance used as rationale for allowing Leviathan to be ever more our master could be captured and burned, we could stop importing foreign oil.
The bottom line for not expanding Medicaid in the Keystone State is that it's a poorly designed proposal fraught with peril.
In one fashion or another, proponents of Medicaid expansion cite the need to provide health insurance for hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians earning up to 138 percent of the poverty threshold. They also cite promises by the federal government to pay 100 percent of the expansion costs for three years, then 90 percent thereafter.
That, they argue, will save the commonwealth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Why, it's akin to “free money,” some gush. And, by garsh, such a massive expansion of government will be a major boost to the economy.
Would that it were. What, the last massive expansion of government (i.e., “stimulus”) didn't solve all of our economic woes?
For starters, this progeny of the “War on Poverty” long has been unsustainable, medically and economically. “Medicaid has failed to reduce poverty and offers episodic and disjointed care,” writes the Commonwealth Foundation's Elizabeth Steele. In just one little to wit, she notes that, under Medicaid, children with ear infections have only a 38 percent chance of being able to secure an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor.
Many physicians won't see Medicaid patients and many more say they won't accept new Medicaid patients. Why? Reimbursement rates don't cover the cost of their services.
Making a big failure an even bigger failure will bring success, is that it?
What's the real skinny on Medicaid? Higher taxes. Shrinking uncompensated care reimbursements for hospitals. Perversion, if not destruction, of private health insurance markets. Fewer doctors willing to put up with more and more (and more) government control and compliance nonsense. Less care, worse care and, quite possibly, no care for the neediest among us.
Who in their right mind would support expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania?
Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or email@example.com).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Pitt falls flat in finale loss to Miami
- Starkey: Flashback Friday for Pitt
- Unabashed church pastors put politics front and center
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison
- Contractor eyes early finish to work on New Stanton interchange of Interstate 70
- Run game needed for balance vs. Seahawks
- Police: 3 killed, 9 wounded in attack at Colorado Planned Parenthood
- Gilbert, son of ex-Pitt football standout, commits to Panthers