March 31, 2014

Halfway there

There's been a lot of press about March 31 being the last day this year to sign up for the Affordable Care Act using the marketplace or exchange. But the ACA hit another mile marker this week, possibly one much more significant.

As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports, with the addition of New Hampshire (congrats to my AFSC co-workers up there who fought for it) and Michigan, now more than half of all states in the US have chosen to expand Medicaid for low-income working adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Some states are seeking a waiver to expand Medicaid using private insurance, but at least they are expanding coverage.

Here's an observation. If you click the link and look at the map, you will notice that quite a few of the states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid so far were those that believed slavery was more important than preserving the United States of America during a certain sectional dust up in the 1860s. Of the 11 states that seceded from the Union, only Arkansas has chosen to expand Medicaid so far. (On  the other hand, some states that one would have expected to expand it haven't, as in Pennsylvania.)

I hope that other states sooner or later do the right thing. I know Virginia is considering it and that folks in other states are pushing for it.

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