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Healthcare Human Rights
Healthcare Human Rights

Healthcare Human Rights (105)

About 25,000 poor and uninsured Mainers will miss out on health insurance under the Affordable Care Act because the state refused to expand Medicaid, according to a national study released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

All eyes are on Republican Gov. Paul LePage after the state Senate on Friday granted final passage to a bill that would expand the state’s Medicaid program to roughly 70,000 low-income Mainers under the auspices of the federal Affordable Care Act.

Maine’s Democratic state House Speaker, Mark Eves, noted the circumstances this week surrounding Medicaid expansion. “We have a bipartisan plan for life-saving health care for tens of thousands of Mainers,” he said. “It creates jobs, it save lives, it saves money.”

The bill received bipartisan support but not enough to override LePage, who says Maine cannot afford it and federal promises can't be trusted. Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have expanded MaineCare coverage to more than 60,000 low-income Mainers.

Like scared little boys huddling in a closet, the members of the Missouri Senate’s so-called “conservative” caucus this week begged the monster under their bed to go away.

The monster is Medicaid expansion. The senators want it to leave them alone because they can’t make it go away on their own. Their intellectual argument on the merits of the issue has been laid bare by studies, colleagues, donors and other conservatives who have come to realize that balancing budgets and saving lives is a bit more important than simply hating Obamacare.

One in five jobs in Missouri is linked to health care. Hospitals and clinics are among the largest job providers in most communities and a vital part of our state’s economy. The industry is so robust that you may not have noticed that they have eliminated nearly 1,000 positions in the last six months, and are implementing a hiring freeze on 2,145 more positions. Why?

For those still not convinced by the editorial board’s piece “ ‘This thing is working’ ” (April 21), the bone of contention is almost always about cost.

Many conservative legislators and their constituents all seem to be asking the same question: “How will Missouri pay for costs of Medicaid expansion?” The real question is: How can we afford not to?

When examining the recent successes of the Affordable Care Act, many of which were outlined by President Barack Obama in a speech last week, it’s difficult to settle on the most important number:

It’s not the unemployed who would benefit the most if Missouri expanded its Medicaid program through the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

It’s the cooks and waitresses, cashiers and cab drivers, housekeepers and parking attendants — people working low-wage jobs — who would be most likely to gain health care coverage, according to a report released Thursday by a group of Medicaid expansion supporters that spans the political spectrum.



One of Gov. Scott Walker’s explanations for rejecting a full expansion of Medicaid under the federal "Obamacare" health care law was this:

The feds won’t be good for the money.

And for more than a year, the Republican governor has cited a piece of recent state budget history as evidence.

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