The Republican Speaker of the Missouri House says recent problems with the Veterans Health Administration support the stance his caucus has taken against Medicaid expansion. Tim Jones (R-Eureka) has been opposed to using federal dollars to expand eligibility for that program in Missouri since Governor Jay Nixon (D) raised the issue in late 2012.
He says issues that have come to light – veterans needing care being on secret waiting lists, some veterans dying while waiting for care, and records being falsified to reflect shorter wait times than actually experienced – illustrate the problems of having government-run a healthcare system.
“We actually look extremely smart and wise in not expanding Medicaid up to this point,” says Jones.
“The VA healthcare system, the federal Obamacare law and state Medicaid systems – the commonality is they’re all run by a form of the government,” says Jones. “The Medicaid system has now got the heavy hand of the federal government trying to use the carrot-and-stick approach of using the federal bill to expand the state systems.”
“We cannot put our heads in the sand and ignore potential similarities and analogies that can be drawn between the federal government running one massive national healthcare system on one hand versus another,” he adds.
Jones says Medicaid must be reformed rather than just have millions more in tax dollars be applied to the current system.
Medicaid expansion is an issue many Democrats running this year for state legislative seats will focus on.
AUDIO: Jones says running on Medicaid expansion in this year’s campaigns would be a mistake