House Republicans are lining up to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, but GOP governors in the South have a real plan to gut the law.
Govs. Rick Perry in Texas and Rick Scott in Florida have both said they won’t expand Medicaid to more of the working poor in their states — rejecting a central part of the law designed to cover 15 million more Americans.
The governors can do it because the Supreme Court ruled last month that states can opt out of the expansion without paying a penalty.
Southern Governors Secede from Medicaid
Scott Walker also seems intent on rejecting the Medicaid expansion, or at least milking the controversy for as much publicity as possible. But what are the implications of such a rejection? Will poor Wisconsinites find that they aren't offered subsidized insurance as promised under the ACA? Is this just a game of chicken to see if the Feds will pick up 100% of Medicaid costs instead of the 90% planned? Or maybe it's a plot to force the poor into the penalty for not having insurance by not offering them the Medicaid expansion?
How poor do you have to be to currently receive Medicaid or is it only for the unemployed and disabled? I think the new rule is 130% of poverty level so I guess that means that anyone who doesn't qualify now, but earns less than 130% of poverty level wages will be affected by the rejection. Will those people have no other option for health care or can they get subsidies through the exchange as well?
And lastly, is this good politics? If you're a governor with a chance to cover every single person in your State for only 10% of costs, wouldn't rejecting that aid be a dangerous political position?