Why don’t Democrats more often make the point Sen. Chuck Schumer made this week about the consequences of GOP efforts to scuttle Medicaid:
Medicaid is for poor people, but also 60 percent goes to people in nursing homes. And that affects not only them, but their kids. You’re a kid 45 or 50, your Mom or Dad is in a nursing home. They could be kicked out after this bill passes. What would you do? You have to take them at home, stop working to take care of them. Or you have to shell out thousands of dollars out of your pocket. — Schumer press conference (3/13)
Bill Clinton routinely made this point when Medicaid was debated during his presidency. Inexplicably he is among a surprisingly few Democrats who stress the program’s service to elder Americans in dire need of long term care. But the GOP continues to get away with feeding the illusion that it mostly serves malingerers who’d rather take a federal handout than get a job.
Baby boomers everywhere are facing the painful needs of parents who need nursing home care. Many are finding that Medicaid is their only choice. That’s the political pitch that can save Medicaid.