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Hullabaloo


Monday, April 01, 2013

 
Too bad about the poor people

by digby

This was tweeted by the National Republican Campaign Committee this morning:


None of that is true, so why do they remain so hostile?

Because Republicans hate Medicaid, of course:
"Not in South Carolina," Gov. Nikki Haley declared at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference. "We will not expand Medicaid on President Obama's watch. We will not expand Medicaid ever."

Widening Medicaid insurance rolls, a joint federal-state program for low-income Americans, is an anchor of the law Obama signed in 2010. But states get to decide whether to take the deal, and from Virginia to Texas – a region encompassing the old Confederacy and Civil War border states – Florida's Rick Scott is the only Republican governor to endorse expansion, and he faces opposition from his GOP colleagues in the legislature. Tennessee's Bill Haslam, the Deep South's last governor to take a side, added his name to the opposition on Wednesday.

Haley offers the common explanation, saying expansion will "bust our budgets." But the policy reality is more complicated. The hospital industry and other advocacy groups continue to tell GOP governors that expansion would be a good arrangement, and there are signs that some Republicans are trying to find ways to expand insurance coverage under the law.

Haslam told Tennessee lawmakers that he'd rather use any new money to subsidize private insurance. That's actually the approach of another anchor of Obama's law: insurance exchanges where Americans can buy private policies with premium subsidies from taxpayers.

Yes, the new plan is to allow states to come up with some way to pretend to be covering the working poor with sub-standard insurance policies that make corporations rich and keep poor people sick. But until they get that lovely "tweak":

Yet for now, governors' rejection of Medicaid expansion will leave large swaths of Americans without coverage because they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid as it exists but not enough to get the subsidies to buy insurance in the exchanges. Many public health studies show that the same population suffers from higher-than-average rates of obesity, smoking and diabetes – variables that yield bad health outcomes and expensive hospital care.

"Many of the citizens who would benefit the most from this live in the reddest of states with the most intense opposition," said Drew Altman, president of the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
That's just such a shame. The Medicaid expansion was one of the pillars of Obamacare, perhaps the most truly liberal new policy to come out of this administration. Which I suppose explains why Republicans who would benefit from it are against it. They just assume that if the other team thinks it's a good idea it must be wrong. (Also too: it will help certain subsets of the population they don't think deserve it.)
Whit Ayers, a leading Republican pollster, was more measured, but offered the same bottom line. "This law remains toxic among Republican primary voters," he told The Associated Press.

Sad.

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