Again: No Medicaid Expansion

Thursday, April 4, 2019

To the Editor,

In response to Judith Gregory’s incredulity at my naming Medicaid Expansion as government run health care, I’m wondering if maybe she is not connecting the dots. Medicaid expansion is tax-payer (government) funded health care. We the tax-payers are footing the bill for the health care of those on Expansion. The end game for Medicaid Expansion is Medicaid for all (socialized medicine): take money from the “haves”-- even though most “haves” have very limited funds--and give to the “have-nots.” Meanwhile, do not address the high costs of healthcare so that the “haves” who are now further strained from an increased tax burden (necessary to pay for others’ healthcare), will eventually cry out in frustration for the government (taxpayer) to save them from this maddening plight. 

She again perhaps either feigns incredulity or is unaware of the fact that when government is in charge of health care and is paying for it, end of life care decisions are distanced from the Dr./patient relationship. They are ultimately determined by cost effectiveness, not necessarily based on what is humane and sensitive to the desire of the patient and their family. As stated previously, it is not compassionate to place our health care in the hands of government bureaucrats. 

Contrary to her claim, Medicaid Expansion is not the best way to improve our healthcare system, to keep people healthy. Rather it is a government takeover of the healthcare of some, mandating the rest of us pay for it, without addressing the core issue: high health care costs. She seems to have little faith in the free market as applied to healthcare. She states: (How many of us choose the low cost medical provider?) Is she not aware of the number of people who go to Mexico for medical and dental procedures because of the low costs? This is especially true in border states where the cost of the trip south is minimal.

She is right about our slow moving legislature taking time to enact changes to help lower income people with affordable healthcare. Our Democrat Governor has vetoed bills passed by the legislature designed to turn the free market loose on healthcare, such as SB 100 in 2017, which legalized paying a provider a low monthly fee to cover any non-catastrophic healthcare services they provide. The Governor, like Judith, does not believe in the free market for healthcare. They want big, centralized government: more control of our lives and less individual freedom. And I’d bet they’ll both claim you’re an uncompassionate lout if you disagree.

Our Senator Dave Howard and Representative Seth Berglee have been working tirelessly to stop Medicaid Expansion. However it appears that, like the governor, several other supposedly Republican senators are positioning themselves for a yea vote on Expansion, despite the fact we voted it down in November. Please contact the capitol switchboard 444-3064 or go to leg.mt.gov and urge senators to vote no on HB 658.

 

Cynthia Marble 

Red Lodge

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