Friday, November 8, 2013

Punishing the poor - GOP blocks Medicaid for millions

One of the great divides in our culture is over whether you think health care is a human right or that each of us has to pay his own way  There's merit in both, of course.  But things break down when people cling to prejudices - like the gut feeling of many that somehow or other almost everyone who is out of work could find a job if they had the will, or that "they" [substitute the group you hold in lowest esteem]  shouldn't be mooching off me, etc.
Thanks to John Roberts who roped in a couple of liberals - Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan - states have the right to refuse to expand Medicaid under Obamacare - even though 90% of the cost is born by the feds.  Half of them have done that.  Mostly states that used to have slaves, or states with very few people (unfortunately including Maine where an independent candidate was the spoiler who gave us a Tea Party hot head for Governor).)  Some Republicans - like John Kasich (R-OH) - have salvaged the honor of the GOP but most have bowed to the Tea Party and refused to extend care to the poor.  Dylan Scott at Talking Points Memo lays it out. And check out the interactive map at TPM. - GWC

GOP's Medicaid Gap   Talking Points Memo
by Dylan Scott
For now, according to the foundation, 4.8 million Americans won't be covered as the law intended in those non-expanding states. They don't qualify for Medicaid now, but would have under the expansion, and they don't make enough money to qualify for financial help to buy private coverage. They're Obamacare's other losers, while media coverage focuses on those people whose individual policies are being canceled under the law.
A quick reminder of how this happened: Obamacare was written with the intention that every state would expand Medicaid, the low-income public insurance program, to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. The expansion would have accounted for about half of the people who would get covered under the law (17 million, according to the Congressional Budget Office). Many of the newly eligible people would have been childless adults who currently aren't eligible for the program in most states.
It was supposed to be a good deal for states, too: the federal government would cover 100 percent of the costs for the first three years and never less than 90 percent after that.
But then in June 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, while Obamacare would stand, states would have a choice about whether or not they would expand Medicaid. Since then, half the states, all of them with either a Republican governor or a GOP-controlled chamber in the legislature (or both) that opposed the change, have declined to participate.

No comments:

Post a Comment