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Friday, January 18, 2019

This week Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) shocked many Americans by doing something that made sense. Brewer accepted the federal funds for Medicaid expansion in Obamacare, something she has spent the last few years raving against.

When the Supreme Court decided that states could turn down the expansion of Medicaid, most would have assumed that Brewer — given her contentious relationship with the president — would be the first to reject funds that would require the state to offer health insurance to any citizen earning up to 133 percent of the poverty rate.

But as she accepted it, Brewer made the central argument for the president’s signature reform. “With this move, we will secure a federal revenue stream to cover the costs of the uninsured who already show up in our doctor’s offices and emergency rooms,” she said.

The governor still needs to win over her Republican legislature but she — like fellow Republican governors Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada — has taken the crucial first step that more than a dozen Republican governors are likely to reject.

Though they haven’t said “no,” Republican governors in blue states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania haven’t said “yes” and are threatening to turn down the billions in funding that will cover the uninsured, prevent rate hikes causes by free riders and improve the economy creating good new jobs.

The argument that the states cannot afford the expansion is so fallacious that the Republican governor of Florida Rick Scott had to lie to do it.

The federal government covers 100 percent of Medicaid expansion until 2016 then 95 percent in 2017, 94 percent in 2018, and 93 percent in 2019. After 2020 the state will have to cover 10 percent of the costs. But as Brewer points out, covering the uninsured both lowers the cost of private insurance and state costs.

“An Urban Institute study estimates that under the ACA, states would see a decrease of between $26 billion and $52 billion in uncompensated care costs over the 2014-2019 period,” according to January Angeles at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that states that do accept Medicaid expansion will pay only 2.8 percent more than they would be paying with current Medicaid. Some studies estimate that the states that accept the expansion will end up with nearly no increase in what they pay now while covering hundreds of thousands of the poorest Americans who earn too much to be currently covered by Medicaid.

Of course, the states who have already rejected Medicaid expansion are the ones that needed it the most — like Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Republicans are unilaterally turning down Medicaid expansion for some of their poorest citizens, which will drive up the costs of private insurance and cost their states good jobs. So where is the outrage we saw when the public option was dropped from the Affordable Care Act?

Real people are being denied real health insurance and there’s still time to do something about it.

Photo by Gage Skidmore via

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28 responses to “Where Is The Outrage Over Medicaid Expansion?”

  1. The reason Gov. Brewer embraced ACA, and the MEDICAID expansion needed to implement it, is obvious. In addition to helping millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans, who currently rely on expensive Emergency Room care when they are seriously ill, and often go without preventive medical care for years, ACA will lower insurance premiums as a result of companies having a larger pool of customers, and will lower state government expenses by eliminating the cost inherent in having a large segment of the population uninsured. I suspect her decision was influenced more by financial considerations than moral imperatives. Don’t be surprised if other red states follow suit.

  2. nobsartist says:

    republiCONs really have nothing behind their “ideas”. Its like “fiscal responsibility” or any of their other “slogans” out of goerge orwell novels. These idiots are so intellectually shallow that they stoop to fairy tales like ayn rand and the bible and the first chance they get, dump everything for more freebies from the federal government.

    One thing I can guarantee, in 2 years, there will be no more republiCON governors in blue states.

    good riddance to DICK snyder of michigan, the lying nerd.

  3. TZToronto says:

    Just as Republicans seem to reject science, they’re now rejecting math.

  4. Leo Sehler says:

    Governor Rick Scott of Florida the man who took the 5th 57 time in a Medicare fraud case which was of record breaking proportions has lied again.
    Sent help, we in Florida have been taken over by “out of touch”

  5. ococoob says:

    Jan Brewer=HYPOCRIT!

  6. TonyinMO says:

    So where does the Federal government get it’s money from? Oh that’s right the taxpayers… You make it sound like it costs the state nothing. You couldn’t be more wrong, federal taxes are taken from our checks then returned in the way of these BS entitlement programs.

    This is just another 0bama administration attempt to kick the debt can down the road, soon enough it will become a budget crisis you just wait and see.

    • idamag says:

      Tony, you, and the government, already pay for those who won’t. $800 of every $2500 you pay in medical expenses goes to pay for those who don’t, can’t or won’t.

      • TonyinMO says:

        Exactly the money has to come from somewhere. I don’t expect that my health insurance will grow a conscience and lower my rates should their cost go down, I do expect that my taxes will go up to pay for this.

    • highpckts says:

      What idamag said! You should know that already! You pay for it any way you lood at it!

  7. quasm says:

    Mr. Sattler;

    Let us get down to the basic argument. Where are people given the right to have the government force others to pay their health expenses?

    Dik Thurston;
    Colorado Springs

  8. I hope the governors do the right thing and allow people to have relief from burdensome health care costs.

  9. RNPRN says:

    People in red states need to get minorities out to vote democratic.

  10. Betta says:

    And who do you all think will foot the bill for the BILLIONS obamacare and expanded medicaid? THE TAX PAYER. That’s who.

    Do you like it that your taxes went up to pay for illegals to have healthcare? Oh, my bad. I forgot. Most of you on this site DON’T work and are getting obama’s freebies.

    Well, guess what, leeches? It’s not sustainable. We’ll see how much you luv your “messiah” when your freebies are cut off. Then what will you do?

  11. Either your map’s wrong, or your text is. You have Arkansas in dark blue, but in the text, you say they have rejected it. I thought they had rejected it, too, so your map must be wrong.

  12. S-3 says:

    I hope South Carolina gets nuked if that’s the case – that’ll teach them to shoot themselves in the foot for what could at least be useful money…

  13. onedonewong says:

    She also issued a signing statement that federal funds must fund the program at 100% for as long as its in place. If it drops below that the program ends and all the data gathered on the patients can be used for incarceration

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