Lost in the political arguments over whether or not to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid is a rather basic question – what happens if you don’t expand Medicaid?
This is especially important in states such as Florida and Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico, states where over a quarter of the working-age population don’t have health insurance.
If these states don’t expand Medicaid, those people will remain uninsured, safety-net providers will not be able to provide care for them, and hospitals’ financials will deteriorate, some drastically.
In Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, there’s little chance that Medicaid will be expanded, yet there are no alternative solutions proffered by opponents. The politicians in opposition seem content to allow hospitals to fail and people to suffer and die. Some do this in the name of freedom, others fiscal prudence, yet the result is the same in both cases.
People who can’t afford or can’t get health insurance need solutions, yet all they are getting from expansion opponents are sound bites. Where’s the leadership, the courage, the bold and innovative solutions?
I’m pretty sure “freedom” to a single mother with kids suffering from asthma and diabetes means freedom from worry, from the gnawing fear that she’ll have to quit her job because she earns too much to qualify for Medicaid in Texas/Louisiana/Florida. But it’s either that, or go bankrupt when her kids need care.
What does this mean to you?
Depends on your concern about others and your definition of freedom.