Saturday, August 04, 2012


David Lazarus, business and consumer columnist for the Los Angeles Times, finds the GOP stance on Medicaid to be mean-spirited. Of course it is. The only family values these yahoos have involve their families and only their families.

My colleague Noam N. Levey reported this week that conservative politicians at the state and federal level are laying the groundwork to scale back Medicaid if the GOP takes control of Congress and the White House in November.

Some Republican governors are already cutting coverage for low-income people, arguing that Medicaid has grown ineffective and unaffordable. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers in Washington are renewing calls to limit Medicaid funding from the federal government.

This is scary stuff. Medicaid, or Medi-Cal as it's known in California, is the safety net for individuals and families who can't afford health coverage or don't receive medical benefits from employers.

Medicaid and the related Children's Health Insurance Program cover about 70 million people. Half this number are poor children. ...

Medicaid has some real problems, not least the fact that many physicians won't treat people covered by the program because they say the government's reimbursement rate is too low. Medicaid is also straining to keep up with rising demand that has resulted from the prolonged economic downturn.

But the program also is a bulwark against society cruelly turning a blind eye to those most in need. Medicaid is a declaration that healthcare in the United States is not limited solely to those fortunate enough to have well-compensating jobs or fat bank accounts.

Medicaid isn't just another budget item, such as the nearly $80 billion the Air Force has spent so far developing a new fighter jet, or the almost $600 billion that the Navy will spend on warships over the next 30 years.

Medicaid is people. It's a fair chance.

I guess it's all a matter of priorities with the folks in the Republican Party. Poor people are not high on their list. In fact, poor people are probably not even on their list.

I'm getting too old for this.

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