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WASHINGTON — Congressman Roger Marshall of Kansas is distancing himself from comments he made recently to STAT about poor patients and their health care, which garnered considerable backlash.

In a recent interview, discussing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, Marshall, a Republican, said: “Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us.’ There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

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  • “I can’t understand how a physician would not already have a fundamental understanding of that issue, but it doesn’t feel like he does,” Sean Gatewood, whose organization represents people in Kansas’s Medicaid program, told the Kansas City Star. That’s great

  • I wish the comments about premium increases could be put into better perspective. I have purchased individual health insurance for myself for 17 years. The ACA premium increases actually brought my premiums up to the rate they were before the ACA. Individual insurance coverage has always been very expensive. The ACA subsidies and Medicaid expansion made it possible for more people to purchase coverage than ever before. The insurance industry’s business model made the premiums increase. With or without the ACA, the insurance industry will always increase premiums. We are aging, and actually using insurance more.
    Here’s a novel idea- why not focus on controlling costs for care instead?

  • The claim that the poor will “always get care no matter what” is false. The poor will not go to doctors or the hospital because they can’t pay the bill. All the poor should be on Medicaid but when the ACA gave states an opportunity to take the federal money to expand Medicaid in their states, some states refused to take it. A political ploy detrimental to the health of millions of people living in poverty. Now they want to put a cap on Medicaid funding that will be sent to the states causing millions more people living in poverty to not have guaranteed health care.

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