Friday, September 14, 2018

The GA 7th Congressional race: Rep. Rod Woodall (R) and challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) response to my questions about Medicaid

Per my previous item, SNEAK PEEK: My first weekly Q&A with Rep. Rob Woodall (R) & Carolyn Bourdeaux (D), candidates for the Georgia 7th congressional district, today marks the first of a series of what I've called "constituent journalism."

The source of this week's questions is an AARP article published last month

Based on last name alphabetical order, this week Ms. Bourdeaux goes first. Next week Rep. Woodall will lead off.


Will you promise not to cut Medicaid to pay for tax cuts or other spending?

CB: One of my top priorities in Congress is expanding access to quality, affordable health care, not working to take it away. I oppose the GOP tax bill that passed last year, which gave large handouts to big corporations and the wealthy while eventually hurting the middle class. While I am concerned about our rising deficit, I will not cut Medicaid in favor of tax cuts or other handouts to the rich.

Would you oppose making Medicaid a block grant program?

CB: Yes. Making Medicaid a block grant program would hurt Georgians and make it harder for those on Medicaid to get the health care coverage they need.

Would you support Medicaid guaranteeing long-term care services at home?

CB: Having just struggled with health care for both my and my husband’s aging parents, I am deeply sympathetic to the challenge and financial drain of providing long-term care. Neither my parents nor my in-laws wanted to leave their homes, and we were worried about having to put them in a nursing home. If we can promote in-home care as a low-cost alternative to nursing homes, I would certainly support it, but one of the challenges we found, and we face as a society, is that in-home care at a certain stage becomes extremely expensive. I am open to ideas about how to address this issue.

Should Medicaid recipients be subject to work requirements?

CB: No. Placing work requirements on Medicaid recipients would hurt low-income Georgians. In Georgia, for the most part, only children, pregnant women, new mothers and the aged, blind, and disabled receive Medicaid benefits. Work requirements make no sense. Should Georgia expand Medicaid, I would still oppose this provision because health is often a precondition to being able to work.


In response to my invitation to participate in this project, Congressman Rob Woodall's campaign representative Derick Corbett e-mailed me, "I appreciate the generous offer and your zeal to participate in the race. Unfortunately though, as I consider our bandwith and your offer, we have to say no thank you."

I politely replied that the Bourdeaux campaign had agreed to participate; that in the interests of GA 7th District constituents, I hoped he'd reconsider; and that each Monday I'd send him my questions. (The complete correspondence is posted here.)

Re: this week's questions, I sent multiple e-mails and faxed Mr. Corbett (for which I obtained confirmation of receipt), but I didn't receive any further communications. 

Check back next Friday for round 2!