On Monday, March 4, Iowa GOP Governor Terry Branstad, a dead-ender when comes to health care, today at a press conference compared expanding Medicaid to 150,000 uninsured Iowans to getting drunk at an open bar at a wedding:
“If it’s somebody else is paying the whole cost of it…it’s like former Governor Tim Pawlenty from Minnesota said. It’s like going to a wedding where you have an open bar versus a cash bar. There’s going to be a lot more liquor consumed than with a cash bar.” Progress Iowa video Entire event video (Comment is at 29:30)Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm responded the same day in a personal point before the Iowa Senate(video):
Everyone makes mistakes. I know I’ve said things I’ve regretted later. When that happens, I try to apologize as soon as possible. I try to limit the damage.
Governor Branstad, I think you need to apologize.
You need to apologize for the comment you made this morning about expanding Medicaid and providing health insurance to tens of thousands of working Iowans. This morning, you compared helping people get health care when they need it to having an open bar or a cash bar at a wedding.
That statement is just so wrong, I don’t know where to start.
Governor, I worked in a health care clinic in Cresco for 7 years. I worked with many Iowans who did not have health insurance and struggled to get health care. I will never forget one woman who came to the clinic. She had a lump in her breast.
She worked part-time and she couldn’t afford insurance. So she waited, and she waited before going to the doctor. She lived with that lump in her breast, knowing it was likely cancer, for months she had it before she came to the clinic.
She waited until she finally qualified for health care insurance. And when she did get it, it was too late.
She died, Governor Branstad. She is no longer with us.
Governor, Iowans don’t have too much health care. They don’t have enough.
There are plenty of Iowans over the age of 50, who lost their jobs in the recession, and are now hoping they don’t get sick before they qualify for Medicare.
Governor, expand Medicaid so they can go to their doctor when they are sick.
That’s all we are asking for. Let’s get serious about making Iowa the healthiest state. Obviously, we should start by try by making sure everyone has health insurance.
And you should apologize for that ridiculous cash bar remark.
Really, Governor Branstad, really?