Last night the UNC-TV health care discussion with representatives Mel Watt, Bob Etheridge, David Price, Brad Miller, and Sen. Richard Burr thankfully lacked the explosiveness of recent town hall shoutfests. I think it’s clear that Democrats and Republicans agree on many of the basics of the bills in Congress. The disagreements have more to do with politics than policy.
What irks me is that Sen. Burr bashes Medicaid every chance he gets. Last night he said, and I’m paraphrasing, that Medicaid is one of the worst government programs in existence. My frustration with his claim is that our state has a great Medicaid program called Community Care of North Carolina that matches patients with a primary care physician and a case manager. Outside consultants estimate that CCNC saves hundreds of millions of dollars every year by managing chronic illnesses and reducing emergency room visits.
Burr says he wants to better manage chronic illness and emphasize preventive care. He’s got a good model right in his home state. He acts as if he’s never heard of CCNC. And if he has heard of CCNC, does he think it’s a terrible government program? Why doesn’t he mention it when he’s railing against the evils of Medicaid.
Maybe a doctor at CCNC could give Burr’s office a ring and offer him a tour. Then we could find out if he’s more interested in politics than providing meaningful coverage to all Americans.