Friday, March 6, 2015

RED States Resist ACA Medicaid Expansion, But Not For Long

Good Look Map Status as of: March 3, 2015

The "We Love ACA vs. We Hate Obama-care" at the USSC
(Not even close, is it)

From Think Progress here, in part … a very good read:

Subject: RED States Really Feeling the Heat on Medicaid Expansion

That subject line states the obvious, and that is: People (many with health care for the first times i their lives) like their plan and coverage and now that some 10 plus million are at risk (the King v. Burwell subsidy ruling) may raise prices, cause plans to weaken or disappear, cause insurance companies to go out of business, and impact low-income working people who are the most-needy folks by putting them back out in the cold without decent affordable health care, which is what one main goal of the ACA has been all along, and hence the name "The Affordable Act." 

Specifically from the article: Despite all the justified attention for King v. Burwell, it is not the only way that conservatives stand in the way of ensuring more people receive quality, affordable health care. A number of states where conservatives have so far refused to close the health care coverage gap are taking a second look. 

Like many states that have yet to accept federal funding to provide coverage for low-income working Americans recalcitrant Florida officials are starting to realize that refusing expansion comes with serious costs. If Florida does not significantly change its Medicaid program by the end of June, the state will lose $1 billion in federal funds used to help pay for uninsured hospital patients. The cold, hard math behind expansion is forcing the State Senate to reconsidering its opposition to expanding Medicaid, despite continued stonewalling from the State House and Governor Rick Scott (R).

A mix of hope and worry is present in a number of other states considering expansion (more examples):

Alaska: Last month, Governor Bill Walker (I) released a report showing that closing the coverage gap would save Alaska millions. Republicans in the legislature used procedural maneuvers to temporarily bottle up the funds to pay for it and Americans for Prosperity’s Alaska branch, the Koch-funded right-wing group, has campaigned against expansion.

Kansas: Despite continued conservative opposition, the State House has scheduled two hearings on Medicaid expansion. Governor Sam Brownback (R), who campaigned hard against expansion in his re-election campaign, has recently signaled that he could be open to expansion, provided that it is paid for.

Utah: While Governor Gary Herbert (R) and the Republican-controlled State Senate both support a real Medicaid expansion plan, a vote on Medicaid expansion on a State House panel failed, while an alternative plan that would not make a real dent at cutting the number of uninsured Utah citizens passed through a House panel. 

This is truly a defining moment and critical issue of our time. And it still leaves one wondering: Why all this GOP-Rightwing-TEA-RED state resistance to help people with health care? It defies logic.

Thanks for stopping by.

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