The Human Cost of Refusing to Expand Medicaid

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HHS has announced an exemption to Obamacare’s individual mandate:

As the Obama administration took new steps Wednesday to implement the healthcare law’s individual mandate, it clarified an exemption for people whose governors don’t take part in the expanded Medicaid program….Notably, HHS clarified that the mandate doesn’t apply to people who are eligible for Medicaid but live in states that don’t take part in the law’s Medicaid expansion.

Right. If you’re so poor that you qualify for Medicaid, but your state’s Republican governor refuses to allow you to have Medicaid coverage, the federal government won’t demand that you pay for private coverage instead. This is mere common sense, since such people don’t have the money in the first place. Ed Kilgore puts this in human terms:

By my rough back-of-the-envelope calculation from Kaiser Family Foundation numbers, there are about 4 million of such unlucky duckies in the 10 states that are pretty clearly not going to participate in the Medicaid expansion, a number that could jump to well over 5 million if Rick Scott manages to keep Florida out as well….So what do they care about the injustice of this coverage hole? Not a thing, clearly.

Nope, not a thing.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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