During this afternoon’s Rules Committee hearing to determine which amendments would be introduced during floor debate of the House health care bill, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) suggested that it’s better to be uninsured than enrolled in the government’s Medicaid program. “I want to ask you if you know that Medicaid patients visit the emergency room at twice the rate of uninsured patients in this country,” she said. “More government paid insurance is going to increase the number of people going to the emergency rooms.”
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) responded, “I thank the gentlelady for making the case for keeping more people in this country uninsured. And I guess if that’s the Republican position, then fine”:
MCGOVERN: If you don’t have insurance then you have no choice but to go to the emergency room. But what we’re also trying to do is to put in place kind of a system, as Mr. Rangel said, that encourage prevention, and preventative care, so that people can actually not get sick and not end up in emergency rooms. So if you want to make the case that more and more people in this country should be uninsured, fine. I just disagree with you.
Watch the exchange:
“I’m making the case that your bill doesn’t insure anywhere near what our bill does, and I think that is unacceptable and is wrong in this country,” McGovern said, hinting that under the Republican alternative, the number of uninsured Americans would increase to 52 million by 2019.
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) explained that “one of the things that this bill does is make major increase in the reimbursement rate so that it gets up to the Medicare level, and even beyond, and that means that doctors will now take these Medicaid patients, they’ll get primary care, they’ll get to see a doctor on a regular basis and they won’t go to the emergency room.”