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Sen. Burr bashes Medicaid again

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.

6 Comments

  1. Kimberly

    August 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Medicaid is a fantastic program, especially for children with special health care needs, that provides the ability for children to see a physician, a specialist, obtain needed tests, obtain needed durable medical equipment, and obtain needed medications. It is far better than any private health insurance policy in what it covers. The only negative thing that I would ever say about Medicaid is that I really wish we could raise the income caps to allow families to earn a little more income and still have their children qualify and to allow more children to qualify.

    Burr should take a hospital tour sometime and speak with the parents of children in the ICU and other critical care sections such as the Cystic Fibrosis floors about how important Medicaid is to those children. I have written him several times but all I ever receive is a form letter saying he supports Health Insurance Reform and is definately not what he is saying when he is out and about speaking to people.

  2. Tom

    August 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    While these programs may provide many very good services to some of the people they serve, the real problems with Medicaid and Medicare are not the services, they are the fraud, waste, and enormous deficits that they produce. There is more fraud and waste in Medicare and Medicaid than any other government programs. The numbers run into the hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Additionally, the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Medicaid currently stands at $32 TRILLION. These are commitments that must be covered and have not yet been paid for. While it is very admirable to wish that the U.S. should cover all of its people in the same manner in which Medicare and Medicaid currently do, it is an unsustainable model. Canada has attempted it and their system is imploding according to a recent article. The U.K. is attempting it and their solution is to ration care to its people. Massechusetts has attempted it and in just 2 years, the program has run out of money. No, their are better solutions to solve this problem. I believe that is exactly what Senator Burr is speaking about. You mention that BCBS of NC has a monopoly. That is true, but not because they have bullied others out of the state, they North Carolina legislature has continuously granted favorable regulations and rules to BCBS in the state. These rules, such as mandates for specific coverages, have given BCBS an unfair advantage over their competitors in the state. This is the problem that Senator Burr is attempting to address. And, by the way, the same unfair advantages, as well as additional perks, would be granted to a public option if it is allowed to pass. This will result in insurance companies all over the U.S. going out of business. Just look at what has happened in NC with BCBS.

  3. Twitted by medicaid

    August 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    […] This post was Twitted by medicaid […]

  4. Antiwar.com

    August 27, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Burr only has eyes for BARDA and Project Bioshield.

  5. Anne

    August 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Medicaid is an effective and fantastic program and assist those that can’t afford health care or insurance. Thus it is a very needed program. I seriously doubt there is more fraud than many insurance companies, many that have been fined millions of dollars.
    The public option in the health care reform would give people choices and hopefully encourage insurance companies to offer better services and more reasonable prices.

  6. Siggy

    August 28, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    As a carrier of Medicaid for my children I can say yes it is affordable and allows me to continue working a full time job because Health Insurance would be out of my financial boundaries in any other manner. However, all that glitters is not gold! With Medicaid we are very limited on what doctors can and will see. In our County there are approximately 10-12 providers who will accept Medicaid for children. I also have three special needs children who require multiple therapists, and again the barrier of being able to choose among the large amount of providers is very limited. If my child needs braces the closest Orthodontist who will accept Medicaid is 2 1/2 hours away! When we were in South Carolina and my child got and ear infection we were in the Emergency Room for an additional two hours while they got the okay from North Carolina Medicaid to see my child and then once we got the prescription the SC pharmacist explained SC does not accept NC Medicaid for prescriptions, and I was told I would have to drive NC to get my baby his medicine! So as a mother with five, young children on Medicaid the challenges for me are a reality! (Before you bash me for sharing my true story about Medicaid all of my children were adopted!)