Ezra Klein: The Affordable Care Actís big giveaway to stingy red states [View all]
from the WaPo:
Over the coming weeks and months, thereís going to be a new event in the Republican Partyís ongoing ďNo, Iím the most anti-Obamacare!Ē contest: refusing to participate in the lawís proposed Medicaid expansion. So far, the governors of Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana have already promised to do exactly that.
Ignore them. The deal the federal government is offering states on Medicaid is too good to refuse. And thatís particularly true for the red states. If Mitt Romney loses the election and Republicans lose their chance to repeal the Affordable Care Act, theyíre going to end up participating in the law. They canít afford not to.
Medicaid is jointly administered between states and the federal government, and the states are given considerable leeway to set eligibility rules. Texas covers only working adults up to 26 percent of the poverty line. The poverty line for an individual is $11,170. So, you could be a single person making $3,000 a year and youíre still not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid in Texas. Thatís part of the reason Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation.
Massachusetts, by contrast, covers working adults up to 133 percent of the poverty line ó partly due to a former governor whose name rhymes with Schmitt Schmomney. Itís a big reason it has the lowest uninsured rate in the nation. ...............(more)