Director of Healthcare Organization: ‘People Are Just Going To Die’ If Medicaid Isn’t Expanded

On the Thursday edition of MSNBC Live, Thomas Roberts reported that, in the wake all the controversy surrounding ObamaCare and its provision to expand Medicaid, MSNBC would be sponsoring a free health clinic in New Orleans to provide screenings and other medical services. He then brought Nicole Lamoureux, the executive director of the National Associations of Free Clinics, to have a platform to promote ObamaCare's costly expansion of Medicaid. [Listen to the audio here]

Roberts asked Lamoureux tell him “how the lack of Medicaid expansion is going to impact the residents of Louisiana,” to which she bluntly replied that unless Medicaid is expanded “people are just going to die.” Not only is that an incredibly dire, doomsday-scenario statement, but it is also simply her opinion on the issue. In the interview, she presented no statistics to back up her claim. In fact, there is quite of evidence to the contrary of her statement. 

In 2011, Forbes reported on a landmark study which was conducted by the University of Virginia that showed that surgical patients on Medicaid were actually 13 percent more likely to die than those without insurance at all. Those who conducted the study evaluated almost 900,000 different operations and broke down the results into categories based on the patient's insurance.

The article also went on to summarize how ineffective Medicaid actually is. The program routinely pays hospitals and doctors only around 60 percent of what private insurance pays them, which causes hospitals to have to choose between taking a loss or denying to see patients who have Medicaid. More often than not, the latter option is selected. This leads to the overcrowding of emergency rooms because they are required to treat everyone who walks through the door which leads to long waits and decreased levels of service provided.

Therefore, it is clear that expanding Medicaid to cover those who are uninsured would actually be detrimental their likelihood of survival and to the overall effectiveness of the health care system.

This one-sided interview is a perfect example of what is wrong with the liberal media coverage of this and many other issues. The establishment usually makes comments, accusations, and suppositions about leftist issues that simply do not stand up when compared against the facts. Yet, the media allows such statements to go unchallenged which gives them the appearance of being factual. Such a practice only serves to confuse and mislead the public about our nation’s most controversial issues and should not be tolerated.

For reference, the transcript of the interview is provided below:

MSNBC Live

June 13, 2013

11:52 a.m. Eastern

THOMAS ROBERTS, host: The Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Healthcare Act has become a political football in many states run by Republicans. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has come under fire from people in her own party for embracing the expansion, while Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has come under fire for rejecting it, putting hundreds of thousands without health insurance at risk. That's the backdrop under which MSNBC has announced we will sponsor a one-day free health clinic in New Orleans. It’s going to be held on July 3rd. It is the eighth clinic we've sponsored, and Nicole Lamoureux, executive director of the National Associations of Free Clinics, is the group organizing this health clinic. Nicole, it’s great to have you here. Tell me how the lack of Medicaid expansion is going to impact the residents of Louisiana? 

NICOLE LAMOUREUX, National Association of Free Clinics executive director: Well, to be quite frank with you people are just going to die. It is time that we stop putting politics over people. For many of the underserved and uninsured, the only way that they were going to get access to health care is through this Medicaid expansion, and, without it, they’re just going to be lost. 

ROBERTS: This is going to be the fourth clinic that your organization has conducted in New Orleans. So, tell us Nicole, what is typically seen by patients that are coming in to the clinics there? What are the screenings, what's the health need that you're offering? 

LAMOUREUX: You know, one of the things that I think most people are surprised by is that 83% of the people who come to our clinics to get diabetic screenings, physical exams, connection to pharmaceutical, is that they have a job. In fact at my last clinic, I met a man who was 40 years old and had never been to a doctor because his job did not give him access to health care. That shouldn’t happen in this country. So, we're going to New Orleans again to offer these people access to health care, so they can get healthy and be productive members of society. 

ROBERTS: New Orleans is still not fully recovered Nicole. It’s hard to say that after all this time from Hurricane Katrina, but it's the truth. And one of the major issues is the charity hospital closed leaving this really large vacuum for health care services for residents there. Are state and local leaders making any progress in filling that vacuum?

LAMOUREUX: I think that we have to remember, there was also an oil spill; there were floodings. I think that while they are trying to fill a vacuum, obviously without a hospital it can't totally be filled, and I think that with this lack of Medicaid expansion we're just going to hit New Orleans and other cities around the country right off at the knees again and have just another problem.