Citizen Action Monitor

ER Doc confronts VP Pence over Medicaid cuts – Video has 1 million-plus views

“When I told him he is putting my patients’ lives at risk, the vice president deflected and denied knowledge of the policy.”

No 2577 Posted by fw, February 1, 2020

VP Pence – Those waivers are for states that didn’t take the expansion.

Doc Davidson – No, it’s for people who took expansion money too. I mean your administration just announced it. They rolled it out today, and it’s going to affect millions of people across the country cutting Medicaid. I mean is that a good idea or is that a bad idea?

VP Pence – I think you’re oversimplifying it.

Doc Davidson – Well I think it comes down to that for the people I take care of all the time. I mean people I see in the emergency department that can’t get primary care doctors – You know once they got Medicaid, they can get primary care doctors. They stay out of ER. And they actually work more. They actually contribute more to our community. Now if you tell these people “Sorry, you don’t get your healthcare, ” I mean that’s going to be a real negative in their lives.

Above is an excerpt from an exchange between Dr. Rob Davidson, Emergency Room (ER) doc in Michigan and VP Mike Pence, which took place at a restaurant in Iowa.

Below is my repost of an embedded 3-minute video of the event, which also featuring my transcript of the dialog, excerpts from a related story published by Common Dreams, and comments from 5 people who viewed the video on You Tube.

Alternatively, to watch the video on You Tube, without the transcript, click on the following linked title.

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THE VIDEO

Dr. Rob confronts Mike Pence about Medicaid cuts, posted on You Tube by Committee to Protect Medicare, January 30, 2020

 

TRANSCRIPT

Mike Pence – Hey gentlemen.

Rob Davidson – Hey. I’m Dr. Rob Davidson.

MP – Hey Rob. Good to meet you.

RD – I’m an emergency doctor. I’m worried about plans they talked about last week of maybe cutting Medicare. And then the rollout today of cutting Medicaid. I work in one of the poorest counties in Michigan, and my patients depend on the expanded Medicaid. So, how is that going to affect my patients?

MP – Uhmmm. I haven’t heard about cutting some Medicare?

RD – Cutting Medicaid. Yeah, the head of CMS announced the plan to let states file for waivers so they could get block grants. So that would essentially cut the amount of money going to the states. So it would cut Medicaid funding. Is that a good idea?

MP – Actually, when I was governor of Indiana, we got a waiver from the Obama administration to expand Medicaid coverage in the state.

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

MP – But we expanded coverage in Indiana.

RD – Right, But I just talking about the present and your administration right now what they’re doing. Right now they’re cutting Medicaid.

MP – Those waivers are for states that didn’t take the expansion.

RD – No, it’s for people who took expansion money too. I mean your administration just announced it. They rolled it out today, and it’s going to affect millions of people across the country cutting Medicaid. I mean is that a good idea or is that a bad idea?

MP – I think you’re oversimplifying it.

RD – Well I think it comes down to that for the people I take care of all the time. I mean people I see in the emergency department that can’t get primary care doctors – You know once they got Medicaid, they can get primary care doctors. They stay out of ER. And they actually work more. They actually contribute more to our community. Now if you tell these people “Sorry, you don’t get your healthcare, ” I mean that’s going to be a real negative in their lives.

MP – Well, you check out what we do when I was governor of Indiana, Healthy Indiana, which we the first consumer-directed waiver that was given, ever. We expanded coverage, we used consumer-directed health care. People were able to take more ownership of their own health care and expand it.

RD – I mean, I think the Trump administration and you want to expand Medicaid, that would be great. But the problem is they’re contracting Medicaid.

MP – It’s about improving. I think Medicaid, you know, has a lot of problems.

RD – It’s been a godsend to the patients I serve in one of the poorest counties in the sate of Michigan. And I know people who work here in Des Moines, friends of mine who work in the ERs here is Iowa will tell you Medicaid has been a godsend.

MP – Yeah.

RD — It’s their lifeline. People with diabetes who can’t afford insulin…

MP – I think the argument is for state-based innovation and reform to be able to improve.

RD – Reform and innovation in the setting of cuts equals less people with health care.

MP – I respectfully disagree.

RD – Well, I encourage you to make sure that we don’t cut those folks off of Medicaid because they need it. Okay?

MP – Thanks for your career and your care. Really. Truly.

*****

EXCERPTS FROM RELATED ARTICLE

An article in yesterday’s Common Dreams captured the essence of the conversation between Dr. Rob Davidson and VP Mike Pence. Here are some excerpts:

An emergency physician Thursday night confronted Vice President Mike Pence at a restaurant in Iowa over the Trump administration’s newly unveiled plan to allow states to block-grant Medicaid, a move that could strip essential healthcare coverage from millions of vulnerable people.

Pence expressed surprise, claiming he “hadn’t heard about cuts to Medicaid,” even though the White House plan was announced to widespread outrage just hours earlier.

After Davidson, executive director of the Committee to Protect Medicare, summarized the details of the plan to Pence, the vice president attempted to divert the conversation to his tenure as governor of Indiana.

The exchange, captured in a cellphone video, has received over a million views since Davidson posted it on Twitter and Youtube Thursday night.

Following the exchange, Davidson tweeted that Pence “either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care about the impact of his administration’s policies on patients everywhere.”

“I confronted him about his damaging healthcare cuts because for me it’s not about politics, it’s about saving lives,” wrote Davidson. “When I told him he is putting my patients’ lives at risk, the vice president deflected and denied knowledge of the policy.”

*****

COMMENTS FROM YOU TUBE VIEWERS

Jeff — I nearly wept watching this, not just at the VP’s lack of knowledge and seeming indifference to an issue that’s literally life and death for many Americans, but also because Dr. Rob did something that’s nearly nonexistent into our culture today: he talked with an opposing side without attacks and smears but with thoughtfulness, respect, and the ability to be kind yet unrelenting in his effort to persuade.

Evan — Rob crushes a grand slam, here. I’m speechless at how well he framed the discussion and how Pence tried not-one-but-two shameless tactics to avoid ownership for what this administration is doing to vulnerable American families.

Rick — Wow.. a “now” and “then” discussion….Doc speaks of now, VP diverts to “then”, a meaningless response to a serious American need.

James — The doc confronted an ill-informed V/P and made him look stupid … which he is. Tried to spin it and couldn’t.

tj — Did Pence forget that he presided over one of the greatest life-threatening epidemics in Indiana history. All the while cutting aid and withholding funds from afflicted counties? Some guys don’t learn their lessons.

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