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Democrat candidates confused, ignorant on expansion

As if voters needed a reminder why not to vote for either major Democrat candidate for Louisiana’s U.S. Senate seat this fall, along comes one in the form of discussion about a major health care change under Democrat Pres. Barack Obama.

When asked recently about Medicaid expansion, which Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards inflicted upon the state although a Republican-led legislature idiotically put the loaded gun in his hands, the major Republican candidates – two of them physicians – correctly reacted negatively. They pointed out that, as research has demonstrated, Medicaid outcomes at best are no better than the care clients received when uninsured, if not worse, despite much more taxpayer expense. They also noted that its low reimbursement rates do nothing to stop the shrinking of the provider pool that makes access to care less and less likely. They additionally said that major programmatic reforms, likely in the direction of greater patient choice and responsibility, had to occur to improve health care provision to the poor.

All true, yet completely lost on the two Democrats. Of the pair, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell merely offered a confused rationale that displayed little command of the facts. Stupidly he claimed “It makes health care available to people,” obviously not knowing that since 1986 federal law has required that providers deliver appropriate care to those in an emergency situation. Nor does he understand (perhaps because he’s in the insurance business, although he makes most of his money these days off of oil and gas) that health insurance and health care are two different things, oblivious to the fact that Medicaid expansion causes more people to flood emergency rooms for episodic care not preventive in nature because the supply of providers continues to dwindle.

And his opining that opposition to expansion was “heartless” because that didn’t allow for “people getting the medicine they need” showed an extraordinarily simple- and narrow-minded approach to the issue, as if expansion in the form it came was the one and only response to government assisting people, although a typical expression of Campbell’s Manichean worldview. For example, Louisiana physicians and GOP Members of Congress Sen. Bill Cassidy and Rep. Ralph Abraham sponsor a demonstrably better plan at the federal level, while a law passed by the Legislature at the behest of former Gov. Bobby Jindal, given federal changes along the lines of Cassidy and Abraham’s bill, also would do a superior job than the ineffective, wasteful version of expansion foisted upon the country.

But worse was the sheer ignorance shown on the issue by lawyer and former statewide candidate Caroline Fayard. Not only did she repeat the lie propagated by Edwards during his gubernatorial campaign that not accepting expansion meant “[o]ur money was … going out of state because of … refusal to accept” it, but she also showed the same tunnel vision and lack of creative thinking displayed by Campbell by adding she could not understand why the delegation’s physicians in their opposition to expansion were “anti-health care.” No; Rep. John Fleming, who as a general practitioner saw regularly patients of lower socioeconomic status the likes of which Fayard and those of her silver spoon background feel as if they should take a shower every time they’re in the same room with them, and Rep. Charles Boustany simply are against poor quality health care provided inefficiently when much better models exist than the moronic Fayard can grasp.

Campbell’s and Fayard’s statements on the issue disqualify them from receiving a vote from anyone seriously interested in effective and efficient expanded health care access for the poor.

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