Although the US Supreme Court upheld almost all of the Affordable Care Act, it did allow states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion that would offer health coverage to 15.8 million people.
Currently, Medicaid, a federal-state partnership that covers the poorest Americans, almost never covers single adults. Children and pregnant women are covered, as are people with disabilities, but most adults between 18 and 65 are on their own. My son had to be diagnosed with stage 3 cancer to get Medicaid, and he had to leave his wife to get it.
The expansion, the cost of which will be paid to states by the federal government, would cover everyone whose income is 133 percent of the federal poverty level or less. The federal government will pay 100 percent of the added costs for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter. That’s one hell of a bargain for states, but several Republican governors are saying they will reject the expansion.
Really, the only reason to reject the expansion and leave millions of low-income people without access to health care is spite. There is no logical reason to say these people don’t deserve care when you won’t have to pay for any of it for three years and then pay just 10 percent of the cost afterward.
In Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry says he plans to opt out, one out of every four people is without insurance. One quarter of the population. And Rick Perry rejects a solution that would cost him nothing for the first three years and very little after that. But forget about the lives that would be saved or the suffering that would be averted; it apparently is more important to reject anything that comes from President Obama.
Meanwhile, these governors have the best health coverage government money can buy, as do the people in the US House of Representatives who have tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act a mind-boggling 33 times while leaving their own care in place.
It’s the worst example of I’ve-got-mine-get-your-own mentality I’ve ever seen.