The problem with Mike Ross | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The problem with Mike Ross

Posted By on Sat, Sep 26, 2009 at 5:14 AM

The congressman's drug store sale isn't the issue. (And I've about concluded Ross is getting a slightly raw deal in press coverage of the details of that sale, in part because most reporters, including me, know from nothing about accounting, business valuation, tax assessment arcana, etc.)

No, it's Ross' work for voters that's the problem. The Arkansas Leader gets to the real point (which looks all the worse given the wealth he's accumulated from the health industrial complex):

Although he voted a bill out of his committee that contained an optional public insurance plan for people who cannot buy private policies or have been denied for pre-existing conditions or canceled for chronic sickness, Ross has said he would see to it that the bill that passed the House did not have the government plan in it. He said the people in his district made it clear to him that they do not want the government insuring anyone’s medical care.

They don’t? Then right away he must introduce legislation repealing Medicare, Medicaid and veterans health care, all government insurance programs, or at least allowing his congressional district to opt out of the government programs.

Altogether, those government insurance programs already cover more than a third of all his constituents who have insured health care. Medicaid alone, which covers children, some adults and institutionalized care for the indigent elderly, pays about $3.5 billion a year for the care of Arkansans. In his own little county of Nevada, Medicaid last year spent nearly $19 million on the care of Ross’ neighbors. Medicare spends roughly another $3.5 billion for Arkansans’ care.

Get rid of them all. Now that would be straight talk. He couldn’t set foot in the Fourth District or the state of Arkansas again, but he would be true to his principles.

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