Here is more evidence that the red state boycott of Medicaid expansion is the real failure:
The Hospital Corporation of America, which has facilities in 20 states, reported a big gap in Medicaid and uninsured admissions between expansion and non-expansion states. In the four states it operates where Medicaid expanded under the ACA, the company saw a 22.3 percent growth in Medicaid admissions, compared to a 1.3 percent decline in non-expansion states. The company also had a 29 percent decline in uninsured admissions in the expansion states, while non-expansion states experienced 5.9 percent growth in uninsured admissions, chief financial officer William Rutherford said.
When the Supreme Court allowed states to “opt out” of the Medicaid expansion provision of the ACA, those red states decided to use this as some kind of means of foiling the law. They must have believed that they could put more pressure on Obamacare this way and that would lead to the death spiral they hoped for.
Unfortunately, they used the constituents of their own states as the pawns to be punished in this “showdown”.
A lot of the uninsured are the working poor. They have needed health care all along and the purpose of the ACA and the related Medicaid expansion was to reach them – to give them what they need.
The ACA tried to make this transition as painless as possible for the individual states. The Feds would pay the bills. The Feds would provide the sign up mechanism. It only required one thing from the governors and legislatures of the states – ACCEPT IT.
But Republicans used control of the states as their way of fighting a law they disagreed with. A law that was THE LAW, but that they still disagreed with. So they risked the health care of their own state residents to play political games.
The evidence is overwhelming that millions of people in these states could get health care without much difficulty if their own state government had simply allowed it to happen.
The rate of uninsured people has gone down. Gallup and Pew research confirm it. But how much further could we have progressed if Red State politicians had not played political games with people’s lives?
It is a question that will continue to be asked.
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