Point-Counterpoint: Medicaid prudence, shutdown politics

Point: Ed Holliday

In past weeks Mississippi’s media have lambasted Gov. Bryant, Lt. Gov. Reeves, and House Speaker Gunn for not expanding Medicaid. But the media has not addressed how this law is going to affect the full range of healthcare. Some physicians are retiring because of the new healthcare law. Medicaid now covers over 600,000 Mississippians. If it is expanded to cover another 300,000 people, what will happen?

Uncertainty is churning the healthcare waters. Our president delayed the mandate for businesses; why won’t he delay it for individuals? Doctors are frustrated with the new electronic records and new mandated coding that take enormous amounts of time. In many clinics doctors are now seeing more patients, with less staff, and for lower compensation rates. Will this increase the risk for liability? One wonders if trial lawyers actually wrote the new healthcare law.

How many doctors will take 300,000 more Medicaid patients with the lowest reimbursement rates? It’s not that doctors don’t want to see these patients, but like any business if they don’t get compensated enough to pay their overhead costs then they will have to shut down or stop taking any Medicaid patients. And when some doctors decide to retire or stop taking Medicaid, where will all the over 600,000 existing Medicaid patients go? Most now have difficulties in finding doctors to see them. Ask these patients where they will go if their existing doctor stops taking Medicaid?

My point is that our elected leaders have been prudent and wise to wait and see if other states’ health systems collapse from their expanded Medicaid overload. The new healthcare law is flawed in many ways. If the federal law isn’t changed to help these individuals not covered then maybe hospitals can sell insurance policies to the uninsured. The first premium could be paid by the hospitals, since no pre-existing conditions can be turned down everyone is eligible, and, then the hospitals could be reimbursed.

Counterpoint: James Hull

Doc, You have no idea how tempted I am to simply respond to you that I will not debate you until the government shutdown in over. But the reason I won’t is because it is too Tea Party-ish for me.

Having said that, I must confess I had already made it up in my mind two weeks ago that no matter what subject your point was on this month, I would hold this column hostage and talk about what I wanted to talk about. I am confident that you – being a staunch Tea Party member and advocate – will understand this because that is exactly what the Tea Party is doing nationally.

I had also decided that I would fill this column with countless adjectives to describe how I feel about the Tea Party shutting down the government in order to get its way. Let me start with how outrageous it is that a small group of congressmen has hijacked the government and brought it to a grinding halt in its effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

The thing is this, many progressives like myself have some issues with the ACA and we want to be heard, too. But not at the expense of shutting down the government.

And by the way, nobody is buying the disingenuous “we just want to negotiate and delay Obamacare for a year” line. A year’s delay only gives your side another 12 months to figure out how to kill it.

I do agree that if businesses can get a one-year delay, citizens should get one, too. But not at the expense of shutting down the government.

Finally, where does Congressman Alan Nunnelee stand on all of this? Is he part of the faction that’s holding the government hostage? Shouldn’t his constituents know this?

Dr. Ed Holliday is a Tupelo dentist who has written two successful books. Contact him at ed@teaparty.ms. Rev. James Hull is an award-wining journalist and a political consultant. Contact him at hullmultimediams@aol.com.

  • TWBDB

    A quick check of the number of active physicians by state per capita reveals that Mississippi ranks 50th in the nation while Massachucetts ranks first. HHHMMM…..Massachusetts’ ‘Romneycare’ was the blueprint for ‘Obamacare’. So what does this tell you ?

    Doctors should be concerned about being reimbursed for services in a state that puts politics over the health of it’s poorest citizens.

  • 1941641

    I agree with Mr. Hull about the Tea Party crowd: “I had also decided that I would fill this column with countless adjectives to describe how I feel about the Tea Party shutting down the government in order to get its way… where does Congressman Nonelee stand on all this?–is he…” –James Hull.

    Well, James, the best guess I have about Nonelee’s whereabouts/stand on the [shut-down] is that he has likely been silently thinking to himself while hiding out all along in Dr. Ed “Tea Party” Holliday’s back pocket. But, if he’s not there, he is probably hanging out and staying out -of-site in the next logical place: Fundie Tea Partier Tim Wildmon’s back pocket. At any rate, Nonelee should be ashamed for his part in using extortion and false talking points to destroy Obama Care, a health care system that I predict will eventually compete with all other health care systems worldwide and ultimately become the health care model for all. Alan is a Tea Party Pawn for the duration, He has no other choice. His political support has to do with the company he keeps and the money they hand him for political favors. It’s not about his Christian obligations to his fellow man. Don’t be fooled, people. Alan is a typical Conservative Politician, a TP/GOPER.

    You never can tell, Dr. Holliday, you may live to rue the day you showed your disapproval for a system of care that improves the one we have now hundreds of times over and covers thousands/millions who do not have health insurance. Have you ever been faced with not having health insurance? I don’t know about you, Doc, but I have. Obama Care is the best thing that could ever happen to millions of America’s uninsured. Gov. Bryant’s refusal of Medicaid insurance benefits to thousands of Mississippians notwithstanding.

    Doc Holliday, Gov, Bryant, I give the two of you an “F” for your contribution to your fellow man, woman, and child. Too, there seems to be a lot of disdain nationwide for our first ever black president. “We just want Obama to fail, period.” is a comment heard all too often.

  • Kevin

    “Some physicians are retiring because of the new healthcare law.”

    This requires some kind of citation to prove this claim. Otherwise, it’s left unsubstantiated and gives people no reason to believe it or any of the other crap you’re trying to foist on to us.

  • 1941641

    Dr. Holliday, When you write your next book please include this comment in the introduction to it:

    “Tea Party Republicans don’t want the Affordable Care Act. Do they really mean they don’t want these kinds of improvements in the lives of millions of Americans? I don’t think so. Would they rather we address these issues with a government program instead of through the market-based, individual choices that are the framework of the ACA? I don’t think that’s true either. Have they proposed an alternative way to accomplish these goals? Nope. Despite a presidential election, a decision by the United States Supreme Court, and over 40 failed repeal attempts, it’s clear that what Tea Party Republicans don’t like about Obamacare is the “Obama” part of it.–Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gov-deval-patrick/massachusetts-health-care-reform-law_b_4057633.html