Red States Remain Adamantly Opposed to Medicaid Expansion


A lot of people, myself included, have hoped that pressure from health care groups will eventually persuade even deep red states to enact the Medicaid expansion that’s part of Obamacare. After all, the expansion is almost entirely paid for by the federal government, and the loss of Medicaid money hurts doctors and hospitals in the affected states.

Today, Dylan Scott reports that the key word here is “eventually.” For now, anyway, red-state politicians are adamant about never, ever expanding Medicaid by even a dime:

Top officials for powerful trade organizations in three of the largest states not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare told TPM that they have effectively given up that fight until political conditions change, setting their sights on 2015 at the earliest.

“What I’m really struggling with is — I don’t even know how to talk about expanding Medicaid without just pissing Republicans the hell off and making them think I’m part of the problem,” said a top official for one of the industry groups, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly about the political reality in their state and avoid upsetting the chances of expansion in the long term.

….These organizations approached Medicaid expansion as a typical legislative issue last year — the kind where the promise of billions in federal dollars and opportunity to insure thousands of your constituents would trump ideological purity….”We found that this issue is much bigger than that. The influences are much stronger than a state-derived influence in terms of keeping states in the ‘No’ column,” a trade group official in a third state said. “We can’t even call it Medicaid expansion here. That’s a politically incorrect way of saying it.”

Ideological purity continues to trump the prospect of helping the poor, even when that help is all but free. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your modern Republican Party.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate