Supporters of Medicaid expansion have tried to use the “what would Jesus do” argument for enabling more than 150,000 low-income Kansans to obtain health insurance. But freshman U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Great Bend, recently cited Jesus in arguing against Medicaid expansion. “Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” Marshall told STAT, a health-oriented news website. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.” Marshall, who is an obstetrician, added: “The Medicaid population, which is (on) a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising.” He said this population waits to get health care until their pneumonia is so bad they get brought into the emergency room. STAT noted that a 2013 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found Medicaid’s impact on physical health inconclusive; however, adults who gained access to expanded Medicaid “showed markedly improved mental health and increased use of preventive services like mammograms and cholesterol checks.” – Phillip Brownlee
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