The folks over at Lean Forward have put together an interactive map showing where states now stand in regard to opting out of the part of Obamacare that would expand Medicaid, as per the Supreme Court finding that participation in the expanded Medicaid cannot be compelled. The map’s creators assessed statements from legislators and governors to determine the current likelihood that a given state will participate in the Medicaid expansion, while noting that the situation is still fluid.
According to the map, Missouri is a “leans no” state, based on Jay Nixon’s silence and our GOP legislators’ truculence when confronted with any aspect of Obamacare. So what harm can the latest “over my dead body” GOP posturing do? Lean Forward cites the following details:
— Missouri Population Uninsured: 853.3K (14% of state);
— Uninsured eligible for expanded Medicaid: 207.7K;
— Federal money available for Medicaid (through 2019): $8.4B.
Let me point out that that $8.4 billion federal dollars are, as my GOP friends like to point out, our tax dollars, and if the GOPers don’t want some of what we send to Washington to come back home, I sure do. Let me ask this (rhetorical) question: What kind of imbeciles have we sent to Jefferson City? This is a good deal:
… states would spend only 2.8% more on Medicaid from 2014 to 2022 than they would have without the law, according to one study based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) figures. And that doesn’t even take into account the savings states would realize in health-care costs for the uninsured. By opting out, states would be turning their noses up at a very good deal.
That’s not all. As health care writer Maggie Mahar observes about the governors who have indicated they won’t participate in the expansion:
If these governors dig in their heels, hospitals in their states will continue to struggle to care for millions of patients who cannot pay their bills. As the cost of uncompensated care mounts, these hospitals will shift that cost to insured patients, and premiums will rise.
Alternatively, if these states accept Washington’s offer, those Medicaid dollars would create jobs. As more low-income patients have access to care, hospitals, community health centers, labs, and nursing homes will need to hire new workers.
States desperately need those jobs. And their poorest citizens desperately need healthcare.
Of course, our GOP legislators don’t care much about jobs unless they flow from wealthy “job creators” whom they’re willing to feed generously from the public trough. And they sure as hell don’t care about the uninsured poor.