Republican Rep. Roger Marshall of Kansas, who is also a doctor, recently asserted that poor people, including those on Medicaid, do not want health care and fail to take healthy care of themselves.
"Letting the government run anything, including health care, what happens is prices go up and competition goes down," Marshall told Stat News. "What we were doing was not working."
Marshall doesn't believe that Medicaid expansion under Obamacare has helped in other states (Kansas did not expand Medicaid).
In July 2016, CNBC reported that there had been a 26.5 percent jump in people covered under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) -- 15 million people -- since Obamacare began enrolling folks in Fall 2013, according to numbers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services.
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Back at Stat News, Marshall invoked Jesus Christ: "Just like Jesus said, 'The poor will always be with us.' There is a group of people that just don't want health care and aren't going to take care of themselves."
Marshall was asked more about that position, and asserted that poor people on Medicaid do not take care of themselves:
Just, like, homeless people. … I think just morally, spiritually, socially, [some people] just don't want health care. The Medicaid population, which is [on] a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising.
And I'm not judging, I'm just saying socially that's where they are. So there's a group of people that even with unlimited access to health care are only going to use the emergency room when their arm is chopped off or when their pneumonia is so bad they get brought [into] the ER.
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Looking back on his own experience at the Great Bend Regional Hospital in Kansas, Marshall compared the hospital to a hotel:
Our vision was that we would look more like a hotel with customer service that delivered five-star health care. So our cafeteria looks more like a coffee shop than it does a sterile hospital dining room. We have bright windows everywhere, and outside of every window there's a garden. Thinking that healing is more than just a knife and a needle.
In more health care news, the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs advanced a bill on Feb. 27 that would allow doctors to decide whether or not to tell a pregnant woman that her fetus has severe disabilities, reports the San Antonio Current.
If the Republican-controlled legislature passes the bill, doctors would not be held liable for concealing this type of health information from their patients, including those who might have had a legal abortion if they knew the truth.