For the last three decades Republicans have bet on a proposition that has mostly paid off: Poor people don’t vote.
As a result, they’ve championed an unprecedented transfer of wealth from workers to those who possess capital. And though they’ve lost 5 out of the 6 popular votes in presidential elections, they were able to use dark money and a terrible economy to recently win a majority in the House of Representatives and a record number of elected offices across the United States.
In 2014, the GOP is making an unprecedented gamble by denying millions and millions of Americans health care that their states are going to pay for anyway. The Supreme Court made it easy for states to reject Medicaid expansion in its 2012 Affordable Care Act decision. States. Since then, least two-dozen Republican states have turned down or in the process of rejecting Medicaid Expansion.
A Rand Corporation study found that the impact of just 14 states rejecting expansion could be 19,000 American lives lost a year.
The abject cruelty of denying health care to those who currently earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but earn 133% of the poverty level is magnified by Republicans being unwilling to try alter and adapt health care reform the way Medicare was fixed over the first 5 years of its implementation. This is leaving critical holes in our health care infrastructure that were meant to be filled Medicaid but national Republicans won’t even discuss it because they’re too busy pretending to repeal Obamacare 37 times.
In Michigan this could cost 150,000 residents their existing health coverage, reports the Detroit News:
Health care for about 71,000 served by county health plans is covered by an “adult benefits waiver” from the federal Medicaid program, which will expire in 2014. The waiver has allowed Michigan to provide Medicaid to childless adults even if they aren’t pregnant or disabled.
Tens of thousands more have their coverage paid with a portion of the federal Disproportionate Share Hospital funds, which go to hospitals to help defray the cost of providing care for the poor.
Most if not all of these Michiganders would be covered under Medicaid expansion — but our Tea Party legislature is refusing to accept the expansion. Eclectablog’s Amy Lynn Smith calls it “legislative malpractice.”
But it’s just another bet that working people are too busy to understand what Republicans policies are doing to America.
[Photo by Chris Savage.]