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GOP Congressional Candidate: Medicaid Expansion Is ‘Working’

Memo Pad Politics

GOP Congressional Candidate: Medicaid Expansion Is ‘Working’


A Republican running for Congress has actually admitted that there are benefits to Obamacare.

David Young, who’s running in Iowa’s 3rd district against Democrat Staci Appel, said he supported Iowa’s Medicaid expansion in a debate last week.

“It seems to be working in Iowa,” he said.

He also indicated that he wanted states to “have some kind of flexibility” when it comes to Medicaid.

The Affordable Care Act gives states the option to expand Medicaid coverage to Americans making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Though Iowa’s plan is a more “conservative version” of the federal plan, it still gave access to Medicaid to as many as 150,000 people who otherwise wouldn’t have qualified.

Though Young said he doesn’t want to repeal Obamacare, he still thinks that “it is a bad law.”

“I thought it was a bad process and very partisan. I wish this was a bill/law that both sides could have come together and Senate voted on and the House as well,” he said. “But it didn’t. We are stuck with it.”

He also criticized the ACA for causing insurance premiums to increase.

Young’s concession that the law works in Iowa is particularly significant, not just because he is a rare Republican acknowledging that it actually benefits Americans, but because Young used to be Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)’s chief of staff.

Though Grassley once supported the individual mandate in the health care law, arguing that it represented “individual responsibility and even Republicans believe in individual responsibility,” he changed his mind after the ACA passed, saying that requiring everyone to get health care was a constitutional violation.

Since then, he has tried to undermine Obamacare at every turn. Grassley proposed an amendment during the negotiations that would have required all members of Congress to enroll in the Affordable Care Act. The amendment was supposed to “embarrass” the Democrats, but it ended up making health care very complicated for members of Congress, causing a debate over whether they should still get to keep their employer subsidies.

As Grassley’s chief of staff, Young was most likely very involved with his policy decisions and arguments against the law.

Young has also recently come under fire for fundraising he did during Grassley’s 2010 re-election campaign while he was still the senator’s chief of staff. For the money he raised to be legal, Young would have had to do all of it on nights and weekends when he wasn’t working on Capitol Hill.

Grassley just officially endorsed Young, releasing an ad with Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA). In the ad, Latham promises voters that Young “will fight for lower taxes, less spending, and he’ll work to cut the debt.”

A recent Loras College poll has Appel ahead of Young by 6 points (40 percent to 34 percent).

AFP Photo/Karen Bleier

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  1. Lynda Groom September 18, 2014

    Well what do you know. Reality has raised it ugly head and finally sunk into the thick skull of at least one GOP candidate. I just love these ‘oh duh’ stories.

  2. Independent1 September 18, 2014

    Here are some excerpts from an article published by the Iowa Hospital Association which does in fact demonstrate that Medicaid expansion is in fact “working”. Not only are there patients who are getting ‘paid’ healthcare for the 1st time in their lives, but Medicaid expansion is also driving down costs as it is doing in several other states: Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and others:

    In Iowa and across the nation, the positive effects of Medicaid expansion are now being quantified. More than 105,000 people are now enrolled in the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, where they are receiving health screenings, primary care management and overall access to the health care system—many for the first time in their lives.

    Hospital charity care is moderating and the number of self-pay patients is declining. It is doing the things that hospital advocates knew it would. And now there’s further evidence that Medicaid expansion is working. As part of Iowa’s behavioral health care system redesign, counties had to enter into formal regional alignments to provide mental health care programs across the state. The new system became operational July 1.

    Many feared that the new regional system would lead to service cuts as county per capita mental health tax levy rates were equalized. But as the Des Moines Register recently reported, not only have those cuts not materialized, but many regions are now adding new programs to better meet the needs of Iowans. The Register noted, “the (new) programs include efforts to keep people from deteriorating to the point where they end up hospitalized or jailed because of behaviors related to mental illness.” And to what do we attribute that success? Medicaid expansion.

    As the Register explained, Medicaid expansion covers behavioral health care, meaning counties have now been relieved of many of the costs of psychiatric care, counseling visits, prescription medications and even inpatient psychiatric care for individuals previously covered only by county taxpayer funds. Not only do these people now have more service options, but care can now be provided in earlier stages of distress, avoiding more expensive acute care episodes. Medicaid expansion is the underpinning of the new regional system; without it, the success of redesign would have been far more problematic.

    Other media outlets across the state are also reporting that the new system is working in all 15 regions, although to varying degrees. Universally, however, things are moving forward and much of the credit is due to Medicaid expansion.

    It’s hard to believe that fully half of the states in America have not seen the wisdom of following Iowa’s lead in expanding Medicaid coverage to their poorest citizens. It’s yet another example of how Iowa’s health care system can be a model for the rest of the nation. S

    See more at: http://blog.iowahospital.org/2014/07/17/another-benefit-of-medicaid-expansion/#sthash.mHbgjbYO.dpuf

    1. latebloomingrandma September 19, 2014

      Thanks for a great report. In Pennsylvania, our governor dissed the Medicaid expansion, leaving 2 million of our citizens without health care. Trying to shore up his reelection, he has proposed an alternative to medicaid, but it would only benefit 500,000 people, still leaving many without coverage. It will take another year to put this in place. No doctors, providors or insurers have been signed up yet, nor navigators trained. But there is hope. PA may be throwing this governor out in a few weeks.

      1. kenndeb September 19, 2014

        If you are expecting a democrat to win the election for governor, or any other position this November, you are living in a fantasy world.

        1. latebloomingrandma September 19, 2014

          Democrat Tom Wolfe has a comfortable lead over Gov. Corbett.

          1. kenndeb September 19, 2014

            If the democrats win another election in this country it will only be because they cheated once again. Americans are sick of liberal rule.

          2. John M. Simpson September 19, 2014

            Americans are sick the new Republican: Done in bad faith, deceptive, destructive,
            greedy, and serves the 1% at the expense of the rest of our society.

          3. kenndeb September 19, 2014

            More liberal propaganda. Both parties are corrupt. Both parties support big business, it just depends on which big business it is. We need to get ALL career politicians out of office. That 1% you speak of is now mostly made up of liberals.

          4. TZToronto September 19, 2014

            Don’t couple the parties. The GOP has expressly committed themselves to holding back prosperity for the sole purpose of making President Obama a one-term President. How’s that working for ya? Oh, perhaps the news from November, 2012, hasn’t reached the Republican side of the aisle yet.

          5. Independent1 September 19, 2014

            For once you’re probably right. The 1% is really a misnomer – it really should be the 1-5% because the truly rich who have become wealthy through hard work and ingenuity – are in fact smart enough to be Democrats!!

            The truly smart wealthy discovered decades ago that it was Democrats that actually had the American economy performing head and shoulders above the failing economies run by the GOP.

            Stock market performance over the past 100 years has been dramatically better under Democrats as has been job creation. And the middle class has fared much better under Democrats too. History has proven clearly which party is better for America. The economic results in which the GOP leads are all downers such as driving the economy into the most recessions, driving up poverty and driving America’s debts sky high.

            It’s really those 1-5% (mostly the 3-5%) who are moderately rich who are the ones that are stupid enough to support the party of economic disaster – aka the GOP.

          6. WhutHeSaid September 19, 2014

            Don’t you want to at least wait until the Democrats finish cleaning up the last Republican mess before voting in another runaway-federal-spending, terrorist-creating, woman-hating, economy-busting, debt-accelerating GOP goober?

          7. kenndeb September 19, 2014

            I want to see my country get back on her feet. Doing away with a regime that is turning America into a soviet style communist state is a priority. Help will be available for your mental disorder. Liberalism can be cured.

          8. WhutHeSaid September 19, 2014

            But then you didn’t answer the question at all — silly goober. I ask once again: Don’t you want the Democrats to fix the horrible mess left by the last Republican administration? Once everything is fixed, you goobers can sashay on in and blow any budget surplus, spend trillions to invade other countries and spawn new terrorist groups, and sell your collective ass to the Koch Brothers.

            After all, isn’t that the way it always works? A Republican administration to make a horrible mess of things and then a Democratic one to straighten everything up again? Of course it does — you rednecks are just being silly.

          9. kenndeb September 19, 2014

            Liberals and the dems (aka communist party) have really screwed up America. This regime has done more to screw this country over than ever in our history.

          10. Sand_Cat September 22, 2014

            Exactly what, specifically, Ken?

          11. Sand_Cat September 22, 2014

            So if both parties are evil and corrupt, why is 99% of your vilification reserved for the Democrats – er – Communists?

          12. kenndeb September 22, 2014

            With the Emperor at the helm, all I see from the liberals are more and more lies and distortion of truth. I do see it on right wing sites, but no where to the degree that I do with liberals.

          13. Sand_Cat September 22, 2014

            How, specifically, have the Democrats “cheated”? Or – by using the lower-case spelling – did you intend to say that all people who believe in democracy cheated? Who did they cheat?

        2. WhutHeSaid September 19, 2014

          Hee-hee! Sounds like what you goobers said about Obama in 2008 & 2012. I’ll bet your ass is still smarting over those elections, eh?

          1. kenndeb September 19, 2014

            Very true. As you say, my ass is still smarting, seeing I voted for a tyrant both times, and I, unfortunately, aided in his coronation. I feel so stupid voting for an unvetted, illegal, liberal.

          2. WhutHeSaid September 19, 2014

            I’m curious: For all of the thousands of times that you told that particular lie, did even one person ever fall for it?

          3. BillP September 23, 2014

            Other than Joe Schmuck no one believes the lies that ken writes on this site. He always claims that Liberals lie and that they cheated to win the last 2 presidential elections though he never offers any real proof.

          4. WhutHeSaid September 23, 2014

            That’s because he/she is a vile and despicable Tea-Bigot — who are notorious for lying. But God did see fit to put despicable redneck bigots on the Earth, so I don’t begrudge God’s plan. After all, real people do need to have somebody to slap around, and going around hitting decent people just wouldn’t be right.

          5. Sand_Cat September 21, 2014

            So, how is he illegal, if even you – obviously one on the elite – voted for him?

          6. kenndeb September 21, 2014

            I voted for him, as many did, because I was sick of Bush and anything “Bush like”. I thought the Patriot act was the most blatant power grab ever made in America. I, also, thought the war in Iraq was nothing but cowboy justice, with jr trying to complete what dad had not. Most of us have been lied to and betrayed by this regime. We never expected an unvetted candidate would be elected. We never expected a communist would sit in our White House. This regime is taking more and more power, and America seem helpless to do anything.

          7. Sand_Cat September 22, 2014

            You didn’t answer my question. Although it doesn’t explain why he’s “illegal,” you did explain why you voted for him in 2008. If he was so evil, why did you vote for him in 2012? Has he just become evil since then?
            Calling a moderate conservative like Obama a “Communist,” besides being grossly inaccurate, undermines what credibility you might hope to achieve with rational people. All I’ve seen from you is that he’s the emperor (Communists have no emperor, incidentally), the illegal tyrant, etc.
            Perhaps if you provided some specifics concerning his “tyranny,” someone could at least attempt a rational response. What powers, specifically, has he seized that were not already seized by presidents long (or recently) past? What freedoms and liberties of US citizens, specifically, has he taken away or endangered? In both cases, how has he done these things?

          8. kenndeb September 22, 2014

            I voted a second time for the same reasons I did the first. I did not want to see another republican in office. Shortly after his second coronation, the Emperor started to show his true colors. He was not worried about another election, so he could blatantly violate our constitution without worrying about the ballots. His position on the IRS, NSA, immigration, gun control and foreign affairs were very telling to me. I saw the same thing from him as I did with Bush, only much more blatant. The patriot act should have been repealed, but the Emperor instead put it on steroids. He used the families of Sandy Hook as pawns to further his desire to ban firearms. He has stated that our laws are only suggestions for him, and he will do what he thinks best. This is not a president, but a tyrant.

          9. Sand_Cat September 22, 2014

            First of all, we agree on the Patriot Act and the NSA. Too few Democrats had the courage to stand against the former, and the abuses of the latter are the logical outcome of said Patriot Act – a GOP law from cover-to-cover – which it seems to me the GOP is upset about only because Obama is president. We could throw in FISA, a travesty for which he voted as a senator and for which he signed the renewal as president. Did that and the Patriot Act renewal both occur after 2012? And surely the Republicans are at least as guilty for both.
            I would have to say his position on gun control can be seen as a logical reaction to the ongoing slaughter, spurred be several particularly egregious examples, and – despite the pre-programmed hysteria – I find it hard to get upset about stricter background checks on those buying lethal weapons. Despite all the BS, no one is coming for your guns except the felons who may try to steal them from well-stocked private armories should some kind of reasonable gun control ever pass (extremely unlikely, in any case).
            So far as the IRS thing goes,
            1) none of the applicants qualified under the law in question
            2) In fact, the only applicants refused were “liberal” applicants
            3) It is not necessary to apply in advance or wait for approval in any case
            4) Many of the conservative groups flagrantly went beyond what even the GOP mis-interpretation of the law allows, and this may well have been true of the “liberal” ones as well. The fact is, NONE of them should get a tax exemption if they engage in political activity: that is what the law says. Whatever happened seems highly unlikely to have originated from Obama himself, in any case.
            Foreign affairs? I find it refreshing to have a president reluctant to start yet another unwinnable war at the drop of a hat, though it seems he’s about to allow himself to be dragged into something likely to benefit no one but ISIS and similar groups. What else about his foreign policy bothers you? Surely you don’t buy the GOP’s “apology tour” BS and similar propaganda? It’s nice to have a president who can admit to mistakes, too. I thought getting involved in overthrowing Gadaffi was beating a dead horse, but did the opposition party object prior to Benghazi? And what does everyone expect to find from Benghazi?
            Finally, there are plenty of people on both sides who support immigration reform, or would do so if they weren’t too cowardly to admit to it. The sainted Reagan did it. I’m not thrilled at absorbing the consequences of other countries’ failure to control their population and unfair economic systems, but then who are we to criticize them? The breed, breed, breed crowd has huge power here, too, and our economic system is headed for the third-world paradigm of a tiny minority living in fabulous luxury while the rest starve. What alternative do you propose?
            Finally, the president has not stated laws are suggestions to him; he has said he will act within his power to address problems when Congress won’t. Do you really think he’s any worse than Bush, with his “signing statements” saying he would interpret the law to mean the opposite of what Congress intended? And Obama still hasn’t caught up with Bush in Executive Orders, and probably won’t. I’m not too fond of the concept, but all recent presidents have used it: why is Obama worse? And the hypocrites in Congress said he should take executive action to solve a problem for which they declined to pass a bill, doing this the day after their announcement of their moronic lawsuit saying he shouldn’t take executive action.
            Ken, I can see room for reasonable disagreement here, but your reaction seems somewhat extreme to me. Is there something else I missed, or that you haven’t mentioned?

  3. Dominick Vila September 19, 2014

    Yes, the MEDICAID expansion, and the Affordable Care Act, are working as designed and have already helped hundreds of thousands of Americans get the healthcare coverage they could not afford before the ACA was implemented.
    We would have been farther along had it not been for the political opportunism, greed, and lack of vision of so many fellow Americans and their representatives in Washington, but in spite of that we have already proven that focusing on the well being of the American people is preferable to defending policies and a system designed to help a few at the expense of many.

  4. Allan Richardson September 19, 2014

    I use the analogy of the Titanic. The GOP ran the ship of state into an iceberg (2007 Great Recession), and for many years has pushed a “system” of health care financing that leaves many people out (not just “waiting” but NEVER getting help). Since then, Obama has been made captain and is trying to repair the iceberg damage before the ship sinks, as well as give more of us health care. And DESPITE SABOTAGE from the former captain’s buddies, he has begun to REPAIR the damage and EXPAND health care access to millions more Americans.

    We need to VOTE OUT the saboteurs, not turn the ship back over to them so they can hit another iceberg and dump more of us overboard.

    The truth is, the Republicans admit that Obamacare is working, but they don’t like the fact that it is working for the “wrong” people: the people they would rather just let die!


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