In the wake of Trumpcare’s disastrous failure on Friday, several states are preparing to expand Medicaid coverage to more of their citizens. This is a clear illustration of the fact that Americans didn’t want the poor to lose healthcare coverage – they want them to gain even more access to it.
Trumpcare would have eliminated the Affordable Care Act’s (Obamacare) already incomplete Medicaid expansion and made it harder for states to cover their own needy citizens under the program. It was also extremely regressive, cutting financial assistance for health care from the poor and giving the rich more financial assistance.
Since Republicans withdrew the bill from the House of Representatives on Friday just minutes before a vote to pass it, states have leapt into action, seizing the opportunity to expand health care coverage for the poor. This is a clear illustration of where Americans’ priorities lie.
Fewer than one-in-three Americans thought that Trumpcare was a good idea. By contrast, state legislatures and governors have the political capital to continue offering coverage to more and more citizens.
Through a disconnect between legislation and a Supreme Court ruling, Obamacare does not offer adequate subsidies to Americans who are just barely above the threshold for receiving Medicaid in states without the expansion. Obamacare gives money to states that expand Medicaid coverage to cover 90% of the costs, but it cannot require states to expand coverage. This has created a coverage gap for many lower working class Americans.
Kansas and North Carolina are currently in the process of expanding their Medicaid programs, and will become the 31st and 32nd states with expanded Medicaid. Georgia, Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota are likely to follow.
After being discouraged by out-of-touch Republicans on Capitol Hill, states are standing up for the needs of their people. Not only did Trumpcare’s failure prevent immense harm to the poor, it is already spurring positive actions to ensure equal access to healthcare for the poor. That is what America needs.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.