Eighteen Republican governors have taken advantage of the Obamacare loophole created by Chief Justice Roberts to opt out of expanding Medicaid health care coverage in their states. Roberts, the deciding vote to vindicate Obamacare as constitutional, had to throw a bone to conservative red states to make up for his egregious sin....and he did. Roberts gave leaders in each state the right to opt out of expanding Medicaid to citizens making up to 138% of the poverty rate.
States couldn't opt out of pre-Obamacare Medicaid....but because of Roberts, states can opt out of expanding Medicaid because......I guess, states rights. Although if that is the reason, states should be able to opt out of the entire Medicaid program because of.....states rights. Right?
Anyway....Tennessee is the latest GOP-ruled state to opt out of expanding Medicaid. Tennessee GOP Governor, Bill Haslam...."said he wanted instead to use federal Medicaid money to buy private insurance for as many as 175,000 low-income residents of his state."
GOP-controlled states have opted out of expanding Medicaid arguing that after the first three years are over (when the federal government pays 100% of expanded Medicaid costs), states won't be able to pick up even 10% of the expanded Medicaid cost required by 2020.
Yet, Gov. Bill Haslam won't permit his state to cover more poor citizens unless the overall cost of expanding Medicaid is INCREASED. That's right. Haslam wants the feds to give him the money for expanding Medicaid....so he can buy private health insurance for expanded-Medicaid patients. Private health insurance costs more than traditional Medicaid....proving that Haslam's primary concern here is adding to the profits of corporate health care insurers.
And Tennessee is not the Lone Ranger. Ohio and Arkansas have also requested special consideration in expanding Medicaid in the for-profit way.....
Ohio and Arkansas are negotiating with the Obama administration over plans to use federal Medicaid money to pay premiums for commercial insurance that will be sold to the public in regulated markets known as insurance exchanges.
The very worst provision in Obamacare is that private, for-profit corporations will make up the "exchanges" in the larger health care insurance program. In short, Obamacare mandates health insurance for all.....and all of the money used to pay for health insurance must pass through the for-profit corporate skimming machine first. Profit-taking in health insurance adds costs to health care.....and the vital problem the nation is facing when it comes to health care is...the costs are too high. You do the math.
This point was what the "public insurance option" argument was all about. The corporate centrists won the day back when Obamacare passed. But true liberals like myself could swallow Obamacare because of the truly progressive portion of the bill which expanded Medicaid. Now, even that looks iffy.
Words fail me in describing the wickedness of refusing free federal monies to expand health care coverage to your state's poorer citizens because those monies do not first pass through the profit-skimming machine of private insurers. Profits over people has been the motto of conservatism most all my life...so it's not entirely a surprise.....but the shamelessness and total lack of humanity in this specific Medicaid expansion question is quite mind-numbing.
That leads me to the larger GOP/conservative agenda. The dastardly requests to increase profits for corporate health insurance skimmers in the Medicaid expansion program is an apt micro of the conservative macro, as it were.
Republicans and conservatives hate government and see it as the enemy of the people. In the beginning Ronaldus Maximus spoke and profit-takers everywhere became aroused...."government IS the problem."
Why run for elected office as a Republican, then? To further enrich the "makers", dontchaknow. Whether it's state turnpikes or public schools.....whether it's Medicaid expansion or Social Security....whether it's Blackwater or Medicare....whether it's national parks or college loans......Republicans and conservatives would prefer all of it to be passed through the for-profit skimming machine sat upon by the huge money-sucking squid that is Wall Street investment banks.
No matter that each and every one of those public programs would become less efficient if privatized.....Americans would get less for more. All that matters is....profits. Nothing else.
Nothing new here. I understand that. But the goddamned audacity and shamelessness of the money-grubbers in choosing profit-takers over poor, sick citizens....is extremely difficult to stomach.
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