“And I’m Not Judging, I’m Just Saying,”

Rep. Roger Marshall. CREDIT: (AP Photo/John Hanna.

Rep. Roger Marshall. CREDIT: (AP Photo/John Hanna.)

Yet another rethug is flapping his mouth over healthcare, this time claiming that a certain class of people doesn’t want healthcare, no, and Jesus said so.

In an interview with STAT, Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) says he doesn’t support Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion because he believes some poor people just don’t want health care.

“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” Marshall, a doctor and first-term congressman, said. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

The author of the STAT piece, Lev Facher, writes that he “pressed” Marshall on that point. But the congressman “shrugged.”

“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,” Marshall said. “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.”

Interesting that Marshall, who is a physician, thinks that medicare equals unlimited access to health care. I guess when your whole career focus is sucking up to the rich, you can get a highly skewed view of things. Medicare is most certainly not unlimited access to health care, and it’s not remotely true that people who do have medicare/medicaid don’t bother to use it. They do. Healthcare is good, but if you want people to also eat in the healthiest and most nutritious manner, and exercise, you can’t just hand them medicare. Social systems are also needed, to provide safe ways to travel, places to exercise, and in urban areas, problems like food deserts need to be addressed as well, and there’s quite a bit more which also needs to be dealt with. Here in uStates, you get the idea that quality of life is only for those with a certain amount of money in the bank.

As for that “Hey, Jesus said the poor will always be with us”, that’s a transparent and disgusting excuse to continue to wipe your feet on the backs of all those who aren’t deemed to be monied enough.

Marshall’s personal views aside, a Harvard School of Public Health study published last summer shows that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion resulted in improved health for low-income adults — and fewer ER visits.

“Two years after Medicaid coverage was expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in their states, low-income adults in Kentucky and Arkansas received more primary and preventive care, made fewer emergency departments visits, and reported higher quality care and improved health compared with low-income adults in Texas, which did not expand Medicaid, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health,” a summary of the study says. “The findings provide new evidence for states that are debating whether to expand or how to expand coverage to low-income adults.”

Other studies examining the effects of providing Medicaid coverage to more impoverished people have found similar results.

Oooh, look, studies! Perhaps Rep. Marshall should stick his nose in those, and do a bit of learning. He won’t though, because if there’s one thing rethugs don’t like, it’s having their views challenged in any way.

But Marshall, citing the hospital he helped run in Kansas, suggested he’s primarily concerned with quality of care on the other end of the economic spectrum.

“Our vision was that we would look more like a hotel with customer service that delivered five-star health care,” he said. “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.”

Ah. Well, no wonder you’re not terribly interested in everyday people. They can’t fund your 5 star health hotel. I’d be willing to bet most people would feel better in that kind of environment when ill. Pity all you care about are the rich.

The purpose of the STAT interview was to highlight Marshall’s role as part of the GOP Doctors Caucus, described in the piece as “a group of 16 lawmakers with health care backgrounds who have put themselves at the center of the effort to unwind the Affordable Care Act.”

There’s a bit of terrifying news. One that makes it rather clear the direction ‘healthcare’ is going to take under the rethuglicans. Full story at Think Progress.


  1. Kengi says

    A person trying to hold down a minimum wage job (or two) with no paid sick time doesn’t see their doctor fast enough when they first get sick or for preventative care? A working parent juggling that job (or two) with school and day-care doesn’t go to the local health club for a game of squash three times a week? A person without a working stove doesn’t cook heart-healthy Mediterranean DIet fish fillets with fresh out-of-season vegetables from Trader Joes?

    Lazy-ass bums.

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