Medicaid Gap: A Matter of Life or Death

The presidential election is a year away, the host of HBO’s “Last week Tonight” John Oliver, brought attention to the need for voters to pay attention to local election. Those elections may well be a matter of life or death when it comes to the gap in Medicaid for low income families in states that have rejected Medicaid expansion.

When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld “nearly all” of Obamacare in their 2012 decision, that wasn’t entirely enough. “Health care is like a pair of gym shorts — even if it covers nearly all it is supposed to, you’re still left with some problematic gaps and terrible things can happen,” Oliver explained.

The way states have worked to fix some of those gaps has been to expand Medicaid coverage so for very little money to the states, health insurance is paid for by Medicaid giving the poorest citizens what they need. The SCOTUS struck down the part of the law that would require states to expand Medicaid and 20 states have opted to refuse. Meaning, Tuesday’s election could result in treatment or die. In the case of one Texas woman who can’t afford treatment for colon cancer, she also can’t afford health insurance under Obamacare. But because the state refuses to expand Medicaid, she falls into this terrible middle area that lacks coverage. [..]

Tuesday’s election determines whether Mississippi, Kentucky and Virginia expand Medicaid or not, and that will decide whether people stuck in that middle space of making just above poverty wages can have access to health care or not. People will literally die based on the decision voters make on Tuesday. If we don’t expand Medicaid in these states to help people, the only real winner is basically a pangolin.

1 comment

    • TMC on November 2, 2015 at 19:57

    Local elections matter. From school boards to city and town councils. No matter how insignificant they my seem, the people elected to these offices have a significant effect on our daily lives and the future of this country. If you have an election in your district tomorrow, inform yourself about who is running and go vote tomorrow. Your life may depend on it.

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