Top billing today goes once again to Paul Krugman for an op-ed on the spitefulness of those governors and legislatures who refuse to expand Medicaid for low income people in their respective states, which I think of as states that hate their poor people. He points out that this makes no economic sense and will in fact negatively impact those states in terms of jobs, money and the cost of health care.
He then adds:
...Medicaid rejectionism will deny health coverage to roughly 3.6 million Americans, with essentially all of the victims living near or below the poverty line. And since past experience shows that Medicaid expansion is associated with significant declines in mortality, this would mean a lot of avoidable deaths: about 19,000 a year, the study estimated.
Just think about this for a minute. It’s one thing when politicians refuse to spend money helping the poor and vulnerable; that’s just business as usual. But here we have a case in which politicians are, in effect, spending large sums, in the form of rejected aid, not to help the poor but to hurt them.
And as I said, it doesn't even make sense as cynical politics. If Obamacare works (which it will), millions of middle-income voters — the kind of people who might support either party in future elections — will see major benefits, even in rejectionist states. So rejectionism won’t discredit health reform. What it might do, however, is drive home to lower-income voters — many of them nonwhite — just how little the G.O.P. cares about their well-being, and reinforce the already strong Democratic advantage among Latinos, in particular.MEANWHILE, here's an info-graphic about what Medicaid expansion will mean to West Virginians in each county. Thanks again to WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for doing the righteous thing.
IT'S NOT ALL BAD. Read more about how the local food movement is reaching WV here and here.
LAST WORD goes to Krugman again for this blog post.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED