Friday, October 4, 2013

GOP Anti-gov't Stance Leave Millions Out of Obamacare

By Claudio Iván Remeseira | Posted Friday, October 4, 2013, at 11:47 a.m. ET. Last modified, Fri., Oct. 4, 2013, at 3:53 p.m. ET

Call it the States' rights version of the War on Povertyrather, a War on the Poor.

Twenty-six statesevery state in the Deep South, with the exception of Arkansashave rejected the federal subsidies that would have allowed them to benefit from an expansion of Medicaid, one of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.Those Republican-controlled states are home to about half of the country’s population and about 60 percent of its uninsured working poor. 

This rejection of the Medicaid expansion will leave two-thirds of the nation's poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers, out of any health insurance coverage, according to a New York Times report. 
About half of poor and uninsured Hispanics live in states that signed up for the Medicaid expansion. But Texas, which has a large Hispanic population and the #1 state in the Union in lack of health coverage (1 in 4 of Texans are uninsured) is one of the rejectionists.

Yet some Republican governors, such as Chris Cristie in New Jersey, Brian Sandoval in Nevada, Susana Martínez in New Mexico, Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, and Rick Snyder in Michigan have accepted the expansion and embraced Obamacare. Others, such as Ohio's John Kasich and Florida's Rick Scott would have liked to do so but found the opposition of their own party in their respective legistlatures, as Molly Ball reports in The Atlantic:
Kasich has stormed the state to make the case for expansion -- “We need this program to treat and help the working poor get comprehensive health care,” he told a Cleveland-area audience in mid-September -- and as he has done so, his approval ratings have climbed to their highest level since he took office. Scott’s embrace of Medicaid was shot down by Florida lawmakers, and he remains unpopular. But a poll over the summer put his approval rating above 40 percent for the first time in his governorship.
Read more at the New York Times.

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