Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Republican, Mostly Southern, Governors Bring Healthcare Suffering to Their Constituents

This is what pissy, petulant Republican governors have brought to the healthcare problems in their states, in one simple graph:

Greg Sargent flags this Kaiser Family Foundation study that shows just what will happen in the 25-plus Republican states that are refusing the federal Medicaid dollars to pay for healthcare for the poor and very poor:
As of now, over two dozen states are not opting in to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, thanks largely to hostility to the law among GOP governors who are turning down huge sums of federal money that could otherwise go towards expanding coverage to their own constituents. Result: untold numbers risk falling into a “Medicaid gap,” making too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid, yet too little to qualify for subsidies on the exchanges.
We now have a new look at the consequences of this: Millions will likely remain uninsured, and racial and geographic disparities in access to coverage will worsen.
Two new studies released by the Kaiser Family Foundation today illustrate this in new detail. You can read them here and here, and they take a close look at who makes up the population of those who fall into the Medicaid gap. The key findings:
* Some 4.8 million uninsured non-elderly American adults nationwide are likely to fall into the Medicaid gap.
* Some 79 percent of those who fall into the Medicaid gap are from the south (where Republican governors have disproportionately decided not to opt in).
* Those falling into the Medicaid gap are disproportionately non-white. Some 53 percent of them are black, Hispanic or “other.”
* Some 47 percent of those falling into the Medicaid gap — over 2.2 million people — are white. If attacks on beneficiaries of the Medicaid expansion as freeloaders and takers have “racial undertones,” as National Journal argued the other day, this is a reminder that huge numbers of poor whites will also be impacted by the refusal of GOP governors to opt into the expansion.
This is indefensible behavior. Unfortunately, because of the massive misinformation campaign undertaken by outside pressure groups, some funded by the arch-conservative Koch brothers, and news outlets, like the reliable Fox News, as well as the always awful Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, many of the citizens of these states think it's the right thing to do, opting out, that is. Hopefully, when the news of all the poor getting healthcare in the blue states -- and the occasional Republican one -- the people will put pressure on their obstinate governors and legislatures to get them the help they need. Or they may not. Such is the power of conservative misinformation machines.

This is the most recent news on Pennsylvania's situation.

The poor waiting for healthcare: Sometimes 2-3 hours, sometimes forever.

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