Democrats Pick A Frontrunner In Republican LG Race

Yesterday, Pete Snyder, candidate for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor, released a new video on “Obama’s irresponsible plan to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare” and coupled it with an oped at Bearing Drift:

Simply put, Medicaid expansion is a ticking time bomb for hard working Virginia taxpayers. The conservative Heritage Foundation released a study yesterday showing that, under this plan, the costs to Virginia taxpayers would skyrocket by over $900 million [edited] in less than ten years, once the “free” federal money dries up.

Snyder’s also levels criticism on Medicaid’s inefficiencies and this is where he gets into trouble with Democrats – he’s citing facts:

As it stands, Medicaid’s immense price includes a very real and tragic human cost: all too often it actually harms the very people it is meant to help. But don’t take my word for it — a study by the University of Virginia pulls back the curtain on Medicaid’s tragically bad outcomes, including “increased risk of adjusted mortality,” or as one report summarizes, “surgical patients on Medicaid are 13% more likely to die than those with no insurance at all, and 97% more likely to die than those with private insurance.”

Cue the outrage.

ThinkProgress came out first, focusing on the ad daring not to offer footnoted citations for Snyder’s claims and saying that, hey, surgical patients on Medicaid being at a 13% greater risk of death compared to being uninsured is insignificant, “fractionally higher” in their words.

But it didn’t stop there. Snyder’s message was having an impact and Aneesh Chopra, arguably the frontrunner in the campaign for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor, saw an opening and took a swing. And a miss. Taking Pete Snyder’s quote out of context, Chopra hoped to gin up some outrage that fell into the typical trap of confusing health insurance with actual health care.

Avik Roy of National Review Online covered the UVA study Snyder cites back in 2010 but also dug up more facts on Medicaid care discrepancies:

· A University of Pennsylvania study published in Cancer found that, in patients undergoing surgery for colon cancer, the mortality rate was 2.8% for Medicaid patients, 2.2% for uninsured patients, and 0.9% for those with private insurance. The rate of surgical complications was highest for Medicaid at 26.7%, as compared to 24.5% for the uninsured and 21.2% for the privately insured.

· A Columbia-Cornell study in the Journal of Vascular Surgery examined outcomes for vascular disease. Patients with clogged blood vessels in their legs or clogged carotid arteries (the arteries of the neck that feed the brain) fared worse on Medicaid than did the uninsured; Medicaid patients outperformed the uninsured if they had abdominal aortic aneurysms.

· A study of Florida patients published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that Medicaid patients were 6% more likely to have late-stage prostate cancer at diagnosis (instead of earlier-stage, more treatable disease) than the uninsured; 31% more likely to have late-state breast cancer; and 81% more likely to have late-stage melanoma. Medicaid patients did outperform the uninsured on late-stage colon cancer (11% less likely to have late-stage cancer.

As Roy points out:

The detailed study results will help us address these questions, but the answer almost certainly begins with access to care. Medicaid’s extreme underpayment of doctors and hospitals leads fewer and fewer health-care providers to offer their services to Medicaid beneficiaries.

The system is broken. And instead of reforming Medicaid, just as Governor Bob McDonnell has requested, much to Democrats chagrin, the solution proposed by Democrats and Obamacare is to simply put more people into substandard medical coverage and ignore the outcomes of second-class care.

Pete Snyder is right to call out this shame and ThinkProgress and Aneesh Chopra know it.

And they also seem to know who they think they’re going to have to deal with in November.

  • I think I saw some Facebook ads too. When the Ds start taking a shot at you before the primary is over, that’s a sign. Snyder’s folks should be happy to see that.

    • EricMcGrane

      Well that’s settled then.

      Call Pat and tell him to cancel the convention. 🙂

      For the record, Bearing Drift **will** endorse Snyder for LG. And I called this about a month ago, I think.

      • I wonder if anyone is going to have a look at the implications of this “Ending Spending Fund” with respect to Snyder before doing that?

        • Jennnifer Duchane

          Last time I checked the backed Cuccinelli and Snyder for their respected offices. Here, Want to check for yourself?

          • The interference of this organization in Virginia elections smacks of influence buying. Why do Joe Ricketts of Wyoming and Sheldon Adelson of Nevada care who wins the Virginia GOP LG primary?

            Last I recall, Adelson made a mockery of the GOP Presidential primary by dropping $10 million on Gingrich to extend his badly failing campaign. I’d much rather he and his type mind their own business.

          • George from Cleveland

            Did you care who won the 2012 GOP primary for Missouri Senate?

            Should have, the second and third place finishers were not endorsed by the Democrats.

            The winner was.

            Michael Bloomberg will probably be active later in the year here.

          • A federal officeholder from Missouri has a direct impact on voters in Wyoming and Nevada and Virginia, so that’s a distinct situation from this one – a Virginia LG has no effect on out-of-state residents – absent some sort of insider quid pro quo.

            What’s Snyder’s pro quo for the significant amount of quid being dropped on him by his far-and-away top donor?

          • Personal relationships far outweigh any quid pro quos. Snyder knows a lot of folks and has a lot of friends with deep pockets who don’t want anything from him. You’re barking up the wrong tree on this one.

          • To date, politicians with “friends with deep pockets” who would of course never want a thing in return, because they are all of course honorable men, have a surprisingly disappointing performance as public officials, which is why I ask.

            The idea that the Snyder campaign might be big-money outside interference in Virginia elections in order to leverage government power for personal gain is simply unthinkable in modern America; we’re far too civilized for that.

          • You are looking for a sinister connection. I am simply pointing out that there does not need to be a sinister connection. Usually, there isn’t. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

          • There doesn’t need to be an evil plot to poison children for this level of outside involvement to be both inappropriate and to give the appearance of a conflict of interest.

            I do not believe you are naive enough to believe what you would have me believe, that someone would dump a quarter million dollars into an obscure LG race on the other side of the continent and expect nothing in return.

      • Read our endorsement policy. Anybody who thinks they can guess our endorsement in advance is guessing blindly.

        • It’s not hard at all to guess BD’s endorsements. The only time I’ve seen BD go out on the fence was with the Feda Morton one.

          How’d that one work out?

          • The Morton endorsement went out before we adopted our new endorsement policy. When we endorsed Mitt Romney, we did so far in advance of him becoming the inevitable nominee. Again, don’t assume you can guess what our endorsements will be. Even we don’t know, especially before any of our candidate questionnaires have been drafted or returned.

          • It will be interesting to see if there were any lessons learned from the Romney disaster.

          • It wasn’t a disaster. He was the best choice from the field we had to choose from.

          • I see the answer is ‘no’.

          • Want to bet on the “Anybody but Snyder” field then?

          • Until we get the questionnaires back, I’m not going to speculate. But I can tell you, as I told Pete, he’s not my first choice.

  • TheLibertarianYouth Is Coming

    Bearing Drift, the mouth piece of the corrupt party establishment and special interests, yet again showing it’s bias for Pete Snyder.

  • Morgan Cassidy

    Jeannemarie Davis for Lt. Gov. The best and only choice as far as I am concerned!

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