Parts of the Republican E & C Medicaid criticique are spot on

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Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee have released a sharp critique of Medicaid in a recently released report. While we don't agree with everything in the report, there are some points that are spot on, which is important, as the tendency is to turn the Medicaid expansion discussion into a "for or against, Republican vs. Democrat debate" which is obviously getting us no where, and is increasingly looking like the junior high school game of dodge ball, where the last person standing wins. That ain't gonna cut it here. In the spirit of compromise and suggestions for moving forward, we offer what we agree with and what should be done next.

Here are a few verbatim comments from the 10-page report that we find to be spot on:

Why this is important to the Children's Mental Health Network

The joy of the Children's Mental Health Network is that we are comprised of just about every political affiliation that exists in this country. What we share is a commitment to improving services and supports for youth with emotional challenges and their families. So don't fall into the trap of getting locked in to a 'Republican' or 'Democrat' position. Since Congress doesn't yet seem able to do it, we must do it through our messaging to elected leaders. The challenge of implementing Medicaid to an expanded audience through health care reform is not going to be easy, as the points from the Republican report listed above indicate. But ya don't throw out the baby with the bathwater, folks.

It's what happens next that is most important. Network faithful need to step it up and help your elected officials seriously explore options for improving Medicaid as we move forward with expansion efforts. Running away from expansion is not the answer.

So if the Republican subcommittee that prepared this report are serious with their statement, “The program needs true reform, and we can no longer simply tinker around the edges with policies that add on to the bureaucratic layers that decrease access, prohibit innovation, and fail to provide better health care for the poor,” then we have a few suggestions:

Read the report and let us know what else should be added to our list. Expanding Medicaid needs to be more than expansion for expansion sake. For you Network faithful who are liberal to the core and work with families who receive Medicaid, it's hard to argue with the Republican points above. So embrace them and then push for action.


  1. Melissa Brown's avatar
    Melissa Brown
    | Permalink
    I am an independent, I see both sides of Medicaid Expansion and fall somehere in the middle politically, as I have lived life differently before mid-life and my life being turned upside down with a severely mentally ill child; I am now a single mother and my youngest is "gifted" literally with an IQ of 144 at age 10. My older son has dual disabilities as well as learning disabilities and receives services through both systems. I have been asked throughout the years (and the question looms at present) to "choose one." I can not protect myself or my younger son, I can not take Max's illness and it's symptoms away. I refused to give custody to the state but instead abandoned my well-paying, rewarding career to become "medicaid eligible so that my son could qualify for 2 years of unaccomplished buf recommended Residential Care." It has been 4 months since he began wonderful, life- changing intensive care, and he is being discharged in May. The recommendation for "step down" is Foster Care. " Not an acceptable option, nor should it be. Despite the fact that Medicaid Expansion and The Affordable Care Act under Obamacare are not ideal options, we can not afford to pass up any chance for Healthcare Reform and it begins here now. Ohio legislature (my home state) votes on this critical issue in April. Thank you!
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