Disgusted Doctors Respond to Senate Action on Medicaid
RALEIGH — More than 60 doctors attended the session of the NC Senate last night. They were there to call for expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. However, the display they saw on the Senate floor left many of them astounded and frustrated by the misinformation spread by State Senators and the lack of concern for the uninsured.
Here are a few comments from those doctors in attendance:
It’s incomprehensible that the state would turn down this deal. We’re essentially being offered an incredibly valuable resource (health care for the poor of NC) for free for 3 years and then at a 90% discount for ten years. What would make Senators turn down a deal like that? It’s hard to avoid concluding that the decision is motivated by spite and hate directed against the Federal Government and our President. That’s a pretty small-minded way to govern.
Laura P. Svetkey, MD MHS
Duke Professor of Medicine
It is short-sighted to reject the Medicaid expansion offered to States by the ACA. Heathcare costs are projected to balloon in the coming years, and uninsured people are a major cause for this trend. When uninsured, or under-insured, working people forgo care because it costs too much, we all pay for it down the line when expensive emergency procedures become the only option. Insurance and access to care keeps collective costs down. The idea that rejecting Medicaid dollars is cost-savings is a falsehood. We can pay for preventative care now and expand Medicaid or millions later in unpaid hospital bills and rising insurance premiums for all.
Kate Leslie, MSW, LCSW
What I saw in the NC Senate tonight was about politics, not policy. This bill is bad policy. It is bad for business and the economy of this state. The bill rejects funds that would address the health needs of half a million people, create 25,000 jobs in the health care sector, and infuse cash into our depressed economy. Because of this bill, North Carolinians with health insurance will see their premiums rise in order to offset the costs of uncompensated care of those without insurance. These higher health insurance rates will discourage businesses from locating in North Carolina. What I saw was Republican legislators who are more interested in expressing their politics, namely their opposition to President Obama, than they are in creating policy that will benefit the state.
Perri Morgan, PA-C, PhD
Duke Physician Assistant Program
As we all know, rural areas are especially at risk. Rather than dismissing a collaboration with the federal government out of hand, the naysayers urgently need to talk with their communities about this bill. Some misinformed comments revealed that this fight was also about Obamacare itself, which is not on the table.
Brenda Cleary, PhD, RN, FAAN