May 30, 2018

Good news and a big deal

In case you missed it, there was a pretty major victory for working people and for social justice today. The Virginia state senate voted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The house previously passed a similar measure and the governor is all in.

Of course this could have happened four years ago and helped a lot more people at less cost to the state, but a different team was running their legislature at the time.

This is a YUGE deal for more than one reason. The first, obviously is  that many more low income people, most of whom live in working families, will be eligible for health care, including treatment for people trying to recover from addictions. 400,000 to be exact. Congratulations to everyone there who fought the good fight.

The other reason this is important is that the more states that take advantage of the expansion, the harder it will be to undo it. So far, 33 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid and some other states are in play.

And to think that only a few months ago it looked like all that would have been wiped out by the Trump crew and the oligarchs in congress...That was a long, tough fight. It's not over yet, of course. It's likely that the Trump administration will keep pushing states to apply for waivers restricting coverage. But they'll have a tough time pulling the plug on the whole thing.

(West Virginia, thank God, expanded it at the first opportunity, thanks to then Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. A different team was running things then too. Around 165,000 people are covered by it today.)