Medicaid for Thee, but Not for Me

by Mona Charen

I had heard through the grapevine that Eric Holder’s wife was a good gynecologist working in the D.C. area. It turns that one of her partners, Dr. Marilyn Jerome, is the wife of Democratic congressional candidate John Foust, who has been attacking his opponent, Barbara Comstock, for opposing the expansion of Medicaid in Virginia. He’s been citing his wife’s medical practice to bolster his credentials as a white knight in the war against the Republican “war on women.” 

So this Washington Free Beacon story is interesting on a couple of levels. Mr. Foust has been touting his wife’s profession and her support of Obamacare. 

Dr. Jerome claims that her husband is a better candidate because he will never get between a woman and her doctor. “As an OBGYN,” Foust attacks his Republican opponent Barbara Comstock for opposing Medicaid expansion. Failure to expand Medicaid to rural hospitals could be “devastating,” he says.

Dr. Jerome has also written in support of the Affordable Care Act on the Foxhall website, citing the Medicaid expansion as beneficial to low-income women.

“For over 30 years, John’s wife, Dr. Marilyn Jerome has practiced obstetrics and gynecology with Foxhall Ob-Gyn, a practice dedicated to providing compassionate reproductive healthcare for women in NW Washington, D.C., and the surrounding communities,” Foust’s campaign website reads.

But it seems that the Foxhall Ob/Gyn Associates do not accept Medicaid patients.

Second, it seems that the Foxhall Ob/Gyn is a medical practice that offers special service to “important people.” Early-morning appointments seem to be set aside for dignitaries. Nothing illegal about that of course, but oh so consistent with the hypocrisy of favoring the expansion of Medicaid while declining to accept Medicaid patients yourself.

Medicaid is a terrible program in part because its reimbursement rates are so low that many doctors and dentists decline to participate. There are other options, as Avik Roy outlined in this pamphlet, How Medicaid Hurts the Poor.