Yes­ter­day, guber­na­to­r­i­al can­di­date Rob McKen­na post­ed on Cross­cut a vari­ety of state­ments on how to impair our state Med­ic­aid sys­tem, and chose to omit any sort of con­tent on how con­se­quences of those changes would affect our state.

While blast­ing Med­ic­aid expansion(which, by the way, is in con­trast to how 67% of Amer­i­cans feel), Mr. McKen­na ignores the fact that the Med­ic­aid expan­sion for fam­i­ly plan­ning has increased ser­vice to 99,000 Wash­ing­to­ni­ans, increased con­tra­cep­tion use, and decreased unin­tend­ed preg­nan­cy, and if max­i­mized, this expan­sion could serve and addi­tion­al 2,700 peo­ple, pre­vent 370 addi­tion­al unin­tend­ed preg­nan­cies, and actu­al­ly save the state $1.1 mil­lion dol­lars per annum. This is not exact­ly some­thing the “state can’t afford”, but of course, Rob McKen­na isn’t known for being for­ward on these issues.

Addi­tion­al­ly, McKen­na pro­posed insti­tut­ing fees on low-income indi­vid­u­als look­ing for health­care ser­vices, which, as stat­ed by the Cen­ter for Bud­get and Pol­i­cy Pri­or­i­ties, would cause them to stop using crit­i­cal ser­vices, and well as “trig­ger the sub­se­quent use of more expen­sive forms of care such as emer­gency room care or hos­pi­tal­iza­tion”. Par­don me, but I’m not pre­cise­ly sure where this counts as reform.

But, of course, there’s more. In McKenna’s plan, he rehash­es the con­ser­v­a­tive plan to block grant Med­ic­aid, a plan who’s most recent stan­dard bear­er has been Tea Par­ty Con­gress­man Paul Ryan. Block grant are not exact­ly a new idea, and First Focus, a “bipar­ti­san advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tion” for chil­dren and fam­i­lies, has come right out against the block grant pro­gram, hold­ing no punch­es in their report, “Bad for Kids”. Only 35% of peo­ple believe that Med­ic­aid should be reduced to a block grant pro­gram, and First Focus con­tin­ues in their report to say that insti­tut­ing a block grant sys­tem “could unrav­el decades of progress toward reduc­ing the num­ber of unin­sured chil­dren and fun­da­men­tal­ly under­mine the nation’s long-stand­ing com­mit­ment to guar­an­tee­ing vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren health care coverage”.

Pre­vent­ing the expan­sion of Med­ic­aid, or pur­su­ing these “reforms”, would be bad for fam­i­ly plan­ning and bad for Wash­ing­to­ni­ans of all ages. I just hope this can­di­date for gov­er­nor has bet­ter ideas on oth­er issues, because his plan for Med­ic­aid def­i­nite­ly seems like a strike out.

Adjacent posts