Even though I expect this post will set off a firestorm of comments, many or most of which will be very negative, I cannot find the words to properly express just how offensive I find the words of Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) during a speech he delivered in the current Senate health care debate.
Give him your attention.
In the first place, Medicaid represents the only health care option available to a portion, and only a portion, of the very poor in America. The major negative associated with Medicaid relates directly to the fact that so few physicians will accept patients covered by the otherwise very good plan.
As a result, my poorest neighbors must wait for care, and not only in long lines or in crowded clinic and ER waiting rooms, but for weeks at a time for scheduled treatment. This would be remedied if we had the benefit of a comprehensive, national health care plan.
But second, and even more offensive, if the good Senator feels that Medicaid is a "health care ghetto." doesn't he have a moral responsibility to improve it? Doesn't he have a fiscal responsibility to the nation to reform it, extend it and promote it? Hasn't he signed on as a national leader with the responsibilities that accompany such a decision?
Never mind the obvious race baiting here. Let's talk quality, equity and health care justice, not to mention improving the nation's wellness and health outcomes across a broad array of health measures.
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