Monday, 17 November 2014 20:14

Questioning Jindal’s “Meet the Press” Medicaid-expansion Oregon Study claim

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meet-the-pressLouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was a big hit on Sunday’s NBC’s “Meet the Press” as he jousted over Obamacare and Medicaid expansion among a variety of topics.

As hard as he might have tried, the new moderator Chuck Todd was no match for the elusive governor.   Jindal, knows his talking points and very few, if any, can even come close to taking on the prayer-full two term Republican governor who is eyeing the presidency.

 For starts, Todd asked Jindal about the probity of expanding Medicaid Expansion, a major feature of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

For Jindal, Todd obviously threw him an unintended softball topic and on national TV, in front of millions, he hit a homer.

Jindal repeated that Medicaid is bad medicine--especially the dose being forced down the throats by the “evil” elixir Obamacare.

Todd first compared Louisiana to Arkansas, its neighbor stating that “23 states have not expanded Medicaid to help cover low-income individuals, leaving 3.8 million in a so-called coverage gap where their income is above Medicaid eligibility limits, but below the threshold for marketplace premium tax credit.” …

“Arkansas did expand Medicaid coverage. They saw their uninsured rate decrease by 46%. Next door in Louisiana, which did not expand Medicaid coverage, the uninsured rate was only reduced by 15%.”

After that setup, Todd asked the Governor, “But obviously, expanding Medicaid coverage, you'd have more people off of the uninsured roles in Louisiana if you did it. Why aren't you doing it?” 

Jindal immediately went into his “top-down, one size fits all” anti-Obama “anything and everything” dissertation.

Then, as further support of the total failure of Medicaid expansion, Jindal offered proof, and no less from a liberal Ivy League school, Harvard.

Jindal said,
“Medicaid's already a program with bad healthcare outcomes. You look at the Oregon study, they showed by expanding Medicaid, there was no improvement in physical outcomes. It was a program designed to take care of the disabled, of vulnerable children. It was never designed to be there for able-bodied adults.

By expanding and creating a new entitlement when we can't afford the ones we've already got, the Affordable Care Act, the president basically is doubling down on a failed approach for providing healthcare. There's a better way to help those uninsured.”

Todd then pitched another fastball which Jindal surely knew was coming-- why are other republican governors such as Kassich (Illinois) and Pence (Indiana) taking the money?    

Fast ball or not, Jindal could not ask for a better offering:  You could just hear the governor, “The heck with those liberal republicans Kassich and Pence.  He’s the real McCoy.  And free money?  Chuck,, don’t you know that the “free money” offered to the states is not free.  Louisiana knows that “free” means taxpayers pull the federal freight.”  

After a few more moments of discourse covering his version of Louisiana’s successes in healthcare, Jindal said, “I know that this president likes to define success as more people dependent on the government. I would have to take over 200,000 out of private insurance and put them into Medicaid. To me, that's a huge mistake.”


Again, you could almost hear Jindal say under his breath, “President Obama, Democrats and Chuckie boy, take that.”

The Medicaid expansion issue ended with the following:


You think Medicaid's a total failure?


No, I think Medicaid--


But why do you implement any of it?


I think Medicaid, when it was targeted for the disabled, for children, in Louisiana, over 95% of our children have coverage. I think that it can be improved and more flexibility. Oregon, the Harvard-- now, this wasn't a conservative study. The Harvard study showed when you expanded Medicaid after two years in Oregon, there was no improvement of physical healthcare outcomes. Simply giving people a card without giving them access to healthcare, to doctors, to hospitals doesn't improve anything. (My emphasis)

Again, that Harvard, Oregon study—“the anything but conservative study” that showed that after two years, no improvement of physical healthcare outcomes, as per the Louisiana governor.

Yet, is Governor Bobby Jindal and the others, who are fast to cite the Harvard “Oregon” Medicaid study when they easily try to knock the expansion ball out of the park, safe “at home plate”?  What if the Harvard Oregon study, did not prove that any state, even Oregon and especially Louisiana, would achieve “no improvement of physical healthcare outcomes” as Jindal confidently reported?

Here is a short video review of that issue as discussed on “Meet The Press”.  You just might find some interesting perspectives that just might provide a different argument to the “top down, one size fits all” defense of the study that Jindal and others use to debunk the benefits of Medicaid expansion.   

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Stephen Sabludowsky | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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