Friday, 11 April 2014

What kind of Governor sentences 6 poor people to die every day?

I've been going over some of the literature and legislation of various states with respect to the ACA better known as Obamacare over the last few weeks.  With the deadline/milestone just past I was curious to see what various states have been doing with Obamacare.  For those that don't know as part of the ACA states have been offered an expanded Medicaid system to cover low income citizens. This care is funded by the federal government and unlike Medicare part D which Bush implemented but was completely unfunded the Medicaid expansion is fully funded.

  What both surprised me and at the same time was totally unsurprising to me is that 21 states have refused the Medicaid expansion.  This expansion was to cover very low income workers that previously would not have fallen under Medicaid.  This include single adults under the age of 65 earning less then 133% of the poverty amount.
What that would mean is a woman struggling with 3 part time jobs could be covered by Medicaid and receive the health care and medicine she needed to stay alive.  Let me call this woman, I don't know, Charlene Dill.  Now what is sad is Charlene isn't some hypothetical woman.  She was a real woman that was working as hard as she could to support her 3 children who couldn't afford health care and feed and shelter her children.  She would have been eligible for Medicaid under the expanded program.  Instead she died on the floor in a strangers home while trying to sell them a vacuum cleaner. I shit you not,  one of her jobs was as a door to door salesperson. But because she couldn't afford her hear medication because she had to make the decision to take care of her kids over taking care of her health.

You might be asking yourself why she was not covered.  The reason is Governor Rick Scott of Florida refused the expansion because he's a hard core Republican and doesn't want the ACA to succeed.  His opposition to the ACA puts 750,000 low income Florida residents, like Charlene, in a healthcare dead zone. Of these 750,000 uninsured people we can expect that 1 person will needlessly die every 4 hours because they can't afford the healthcare they desperately need.  Bu Rick Scott doesn't care.  Those are poor people and he has to stand up for his principals as a GOP member and fight against this evil Affordable Care Act, that was actually the idea of a GOP think tank, simply because it is a Democratic President enacting it.

The sad thing is there are plenty of other republican Governors that have vetoed or outright rejected the offer to expand Medicaid, 19 to be exact.  7 republican Governors have actually put their citizens health before their political obedience.

 First off Gov Brian Sandoval Nevada who, over a year ago, became the first GOP governor to break ranks and cover almost 78,000 of his citizens who would have most likely continued to go uncovered.

Gov Jan Brewer Arizona cover who fought through a deadlock of the republican controlled legislature to get 350,000 of her citizens coverage they would otherwise not have had.

Gov Susana Martinez New Mexico who was also an early adopter in Jan 2013 assured that over 170,000 of her low income citizens would now be eligible under the expanded Medicaid that previously would not have been.

Gov Terry Branstad Iowa has made it possible for over 100,000 of his citizens to be covered under the Medicaid expansion program in his state but has instituted a premium for anyone with an income over 1/2 of the federal poverty level.  Just to let you know that is just $5,835 a year for a single person.  To the state legislators credit the provision will not cut those that do not pay the premium.

Gov Jack Dalrymple North Dakota.  Next Wednesday, the 16th of April, will mark the 1 year anniversary of Gov Dalrymple signing the legislation that will see almost 30,000 new low income residents become eligible for the expansion.

Gov Rick Snyder Michigan along with a republican controlled legislature passed the expansion with a 75-32 vote to cover an additional 400,000 Michigan citizens that were previously ineligible.

Gov John Kasich Ohio just signed the expansion to the program on Jan 1, 2014.  A special bipartisan legislative panel of 7 state legislators approved the expansion with a 5-2 vote.  Republican lawmakers are now upset with the panel's decision and are preparing to fight the expansion that will cover 275,000 Ohioans.  The republicans instead want to offer income tax cuts instead.  Note those income tax cuts will do nothing to help the low-income citizens and will mostly benefit the top 1% of income earners.

So hats off to these 7 republican governors that put their citizens health ahead of the stupid politics that have plagued America for far to long.  The GOP party leadership has openly said its number one priority is to oppose everything Obama tries to do.  Think about that.  Regardless of the value of any program that aids to the success of the nation the GOP leadership have vowed to oppose it simply because it is being put forth by a democrat President.  The GOP is so bold they don't even care that they've said this while on national television.  They bank on the fact that most of their supporters would rather see America fail then to allow the current President put American on the right track on any issue.  Then they could turn around and blame President Obama for the failures that the GOP brought about.

One thing to watch is how you will hear the GOP change the way they talk about the ACA from Obamacare to The Affordable Care Act.  They've lost the battle.  As more and more Americans actually start seeing the benefits of actually having healthcare coverage that works for them and that they can no longer be dropped because they've fallen ill and the program becomes even more popular the GOP will no longer use the term Obamacare because they won't want to associate it with Obama.  Mark my words you will also see a number of republicans trying to rewrite history and claim they were always in support of it.  Many of their supporters will blindly believe it because they to don't want to think that Obama could be responsible for setting America down a path where the Charlenes of America don't die because they have to choose between feeding their kids or buying the medication that will save their lives.

Rest in peace Charlene Dill.  Hopefully the people of your state will recognize that Rick Scott isn't a Governor of the people of Florida.

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