It’s no surprise when a Republican denounces the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In fact, it’s not even a surprise when they go through court cases and make dozens of failed legislative attempts, which were nothing more than showboating for their base, at repealing the law. What is surprising a few people, however, is the fact that state law makers are attempting to nullify the law on a state level. But wait, there’s more.
Georgia lawmakers are the latest who, in a move reminiscent of the months prior to the Civil War, are attempting to circumvent Federal law. The Georgia version of the “We couldn’t win fairly, so it’s time to ignore the Constitution” law states that state agencies and anyone employed by them would be breaking the law if they attempted to enforce or even implement Obamacare.
The four Georgia legislators, all of who are only serving in their first or second term, were relatively little known and basically referred to as “back benchers” up until now. These individuals, Jason Spencer, David Stover, Michael Caldwell, and Scot Turner have no qualms about expressing their feelings about what people now like to call “Obamacare.” Jason Spencer, however, took a little bit of an extreme approach on Facebook while discussing the legislation with a Georgia voter. Emphasis added; the grammatical deficiencies of the Republican fighting Obamacare were already there.
“By the way, many hospitals are addicted to the current reimbursement structure in Medicine (the main problem with the healthcare). They are like addicts on crack. They don’t want to give up the money or move to a different solution. They benefit off the current system. That’s why hospitals want more Medicaid dollars with this expansion because it is an easier fix to them but everyone else continues to pay through the nose for it in new Obamacare taxes and insurance premium hikes.”
That’s right, hospitals are like addicts on crack. There are quite a few things at issue here that would be hilarious if it weren’t so scary that people like Spencer can get elected. The first consideration is the fact that hospitals don’t get full reimbursement from Medicaid. In fact, U.S. hospitals lost $27.9 billion during 2010 by accepting Medicaid. The system literally only reimbursed hospitals 93 cents on every dollar they spent taking care of their patients. So much for Obamacare helping “addicts on crack.”
So that’s enough to make Spencer’s “addicts on crack” comment look stupid, right? Wait! There’s more. In Georgia, the state Spencer represents, there have been three hospital closures in 2013 alone. In addition, it’s reported that an additional 15 rural area hospitals could soon follow suit. These closures are a result of financial losses related to treating indigent patients. You know, those patients who would have Medicaid and thus ensure the hospitals received some form of reimbursement if Georgia Governor Nathan Deal would expand Medicaid.
What makes all of this even more damning is the fact that the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA), which is composed of 174 different medical institutions throughout Georgia, actually supports Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. In the words of the president of the organization:
“We need Medicaid expansion in the state. We need some sort of relief that will help address some of the financial challenges that the health care provider community is facing.”
So let’s get our ducks in a row. The GHA supports Medicaid expansion under Obamacare because their hospitals, which countless patients depend on, are going out of business due to a lack of reimbursement. When they do get reimbursed, however, it’s only 93 cents on the dollar. Jason Spencer thinks that this is equal to individuals doing any sick and twisted act necessary to score a fix.
Would he stop there? Of course not. This is a Georgia Republican we’re talking about here. He also pointed out in another comment that “when you have put your hands on a patient to care for them in this environment, you let me know. Then you will have a different perspective.” Because unless you’re a medical doctor, you couldn’t possibly understand the law, right? Oh, and let’s not forget that Mr. Spencer was actually only a physician’s assistant.
It would seem as if anyone with any common sense would realize that, in a state whose medical field is facing the issues Georgia’s is, comparing hospitals to crack addicts simply because they don’t want to shut down would be a very dumb move. Well, it seems as if that little nugget of “DUH” hit Spencer a little while later when he quickly went back and deleted all of his comments.
Alas Representative Spencer, nothing is ever really gone from the Internet.