ER Doctor Confronts Pence In An Iowa Diner About Medicaid Cuts


With the president’s impeachment trial still underway, Trump and Pence spoke at a rally of their supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, at Drake University on Thursday evening. However, Pence was confronted during an unplanned campaign stop as well.

Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency room doctor, confronted Pence at the Drake Diner in Des Moines, specifically about the effect that Medicaid cuts were going to have on his patients.

Dr. Davidson, who is from Michigan, told him:

‘I’m an emergency doctor. I’m worried about plans they talked about last week about maybe cutting Medicare and then the rollout today of cutting Medicaid.’

He continued:

‘I work in one of the poorest counties in Michigan, and my patients depend on expanded Medicaid. So how’s that going to affect my patients?’

According to Newsweek:

‘Davidson, who is the executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare, was referring to the Healthy Adult Opportunity, which was announced by the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).’

According to a press release, the initiative is:

‘designed to give states unprecedented tools to design innovative health coverage programs tailored to the unique needs of adult beneficiaries, while holding states accountable for results and maintaining strong protections for our most at risk populations.’

Eagan Kemp, a health care policy advocate for Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization said:

‘Even after promising numerous times not to cut Medicaid, Trump’s plan will ensure that many working families who are currently covered by Medicaid will face cuts to their services, wait lists for needed care, and the risk of medical debt and bankruptcy from trying to pay for illness.’

In their encounter in the diner though, Pence told Davidson that he had not heard about the plan. Davidson said:

‘When I told him he is putting my patients’ lives at risk, @VP deflected and denied knowledge of the policy.’

 Davidson said to Pence:

‘The head of CMS announced the plan to let states files for waivers so they can get block grants. So that would essentially cut the amount of money going to the states. So it would cut federal Medicaid funding. Is that a good idea?’

After Pence mentioned that Obama gave Indiana a grant when he was governor to expand Medicaid coverage, Davidson responded:

‘Right, but now they’re talking about scaling back the Medicaid expansion that we got with the Affordable Care Act, and 680,000 Michiganders, 600,000 in Iowa, a lot of people got health care.’

Pence told Davidson he though he was oversimplifying things, and Davidson said:

‘People I see in the emergency department that can’t get primary care doctors – once they got Medicaid, they can get primary care doctors. They stay out of the ER. They actually work more. They actually contributed to our community more. Now if a couple people telling you, “You can’t get your health care, that’s going to be a real negative in their lives.’

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