The most bitter and hateful action by Republicans since Americans elected their first black president has been GOP governors and legislators refusing to expand Medicaid in their respective states. Red states have turned down millions and millions of "free" federal dollars....all during high unemployment times.....while purposely keeping millions of poor working citizens from gaining access to health insurance.
Just imagine for a moment.....you are a poor working citizen of Georgia or Kansas. You don't earn enough to be able to purchase health insurance but you make too much to qualify for standard Medicaid. The U.S. Congress and the president pass a bill to expand Medicaid eligibility to citizens earning up to 133% of the poverty level. But your state governor refuses to allow the Medicaid expansion to be implemented in your state.
Collectively, red states have intentionally prevented 4.8 million poor working citizens from benefiting from the Medicaid expansion program as provided for in the Affordable Care Act. But for some red state leaders, simply keeping eligible citizens off Medicaid rolls is not enough.
Under bills passed in Georgia and Kansas recently, even if a Democratic candidate were to pull off an upset and take the governor's seat, they would not be able to expand the program without the consent of the state legislature -- which will almost certainly remain Republican.
In other words, GOP lawmakers have taken steps to guarantee that many of their poorest residents will remain uninsured under the health care reform law, no matter what happens in the gubernatorial election.
Ohio's legislature, for example, would not pass the ACA's Medicaid expansion provision...because Obama. But GOP Governor Kasich found a way to circumvent a politcally-backward state legislature and implement the program anyway.
Leaders in Kansas and Georgia are making sure that can't happen down the road in their states, no matter who the governor is.
Georgia and Kansas have left a combined 487,000 residents uncovered under Obamacare because they refused to expand Medicaid. And, though the law remains unpopular, a recent poll found that majorities of Georgians (54 percent) and Kansans (55 percent) support Medicaid expansion.
Yes, in states like Georgia and Kansas, the ACA is still unpopular because....Obama. But even those Obama-hating citizens are not so bitterly hard-hearted to not have some sympathy for poor working citizens who need health coverage.
Yet, GOP leaders in those two states, states that have intentionally denied health insurance in the form of Medicaid to a total of 487,000 poor state citizens.....insurance which wouldn't cost those two states a penny for 3 more years....hate Obama and the ACA so much that they are taking pre-emptive measures insuring their hate lives on after they're gone.
Paul Krugman recently commented about the intentional rejection by red state GOP leaders of the ACA's Medicaid expansion program....."It really is just almost awesome in its evilness."
But with Kansas and Georgia GOP leaders now moving to stop governors-to-be-elected-in-the-future from ever implementing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion program....I think the word "almost" can be eliminated from Krugman's assertion.
The hate runs strong and deep inside some Republican leaders. The bitterness palpable.
Conservatives pride themselves on their good versus evil philosophy. Evil exists out there, conservatives constantly remind. The problem with liberals, conservatives argue, is that liberals don't realize and acknowledge that evil exists.
Yes, evil is evident in the real world. But evil is evident only in the actions of humans. Actions like intentionally withholding water from a person dying of thirst. Actions like intentionally preventing poor workers from ever gaining access to, in many cases, life-saving health coverage.
But that kind of evil is not awe inspiring,.....sorry Mr. Krugman......but rather, that kind of evil is repulsive and reprehensible. Georgia and Kansas Republicans, unfortunately, have intentionally chosen to make that type of ugly and inhumane evil their permanent badge of honor.
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