It should come as no surprise that these 17 states are ruled by Republicans who's priorities are to pander to the rich (cut taxes) at the expense of the working class, poor, and disenfranchised who, as a result of a depleted tax base, being subjected to a crumbling infrastructure, and lack of public services which results in horrific life threatening disasters like the poisoned waters of Flint, which some say is just the tip of the iceberg.
How can it be that in the most powerful and richest country in the world people are left to suffer from chronic illnesses and shortened life spans in order to save a few bucks for those at the top?
The following 17 states are the worse offenders;
- Florida: The Florida Senate in 2015 approved a Medicaid expansion plan, but it was rejected
by Gov. Rick Scott (R) and the state House. The state government almost
shut down over a budget impasse linked to the issue, but state
lawmakers in June 2015 reached an agreement on a final budget deal without an expansion. State lawmakers expect to debate Medicaid expansion again in 2016.
- Georgia: Gov. Nathan Deal (R) on Jan. 16, 2013, confirmed he does not support Medicaid expansion. On March 28, 2013, both the House and Senate adjourned for the 2013 session. A bill to encourage Deal to consider expanding Medicaid died in the House in February 2013. Deal in May 2013 signed legislation creating
the Joint Study Committee on Medicaid Reform, but it was "for the
purposes of determining an appropriate plan for Medicaid reform," not
specifically expanding the program under the ACA.
- Idaho: Gov. Butch Otter (R) on Jan. 7, 2013, in his state-of-the-state address said Idaho would not expand Medicaid. The state House and Senate both adjourned on April 4, 2013.
- Kansas: Gov. Sam Brownback (R) punted the decision on expanding Medicaid to state lawmakers, and the state Legislature wrapped up its session for the year on June 2, 2013, without taking action on any expansion proposals.
- Maine: On June 17, 2013, Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed a bill (LD 1066)
that would have expanded the state's Medicaid program. LePage objected
to the cost of expansion and also noted that previous hikes to Medicaid
eligibility—which he termed "a
massive increase in welfare expansion"—have not worked to reduce the
number of uninsured in the state. Two days later, on June 19, 2013,
House lawmakers failed to gain the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto.
- Mississippi: Republicans in the Legislature in June 2013 blocked plans to expand Medicaid to an additional 300,000 state residents under the ACA.
- Missouri: In February 2014, the state Senate defeated
an effort to expand Medicaid in Missouri. However, at least one
Republican lawmaker in the state says that the issue isn't over; State
Senator Ryan Silvey says he has the support for an expansion proposal. Gov. Jay Nixon (D) favors expanding Medicaid.
- Nebraska: In May 2013, Republicans in the Legislature filibustered the
Medicaid expansion, which was also opposed by then-Gov. Dave Heineman
(R). The expansion could have extended Medicaid coverage to up to 80,000
residents. Another—more conservative—expansion act (LB 887)
was introduced January 14, 2014, received a majority vote, but failed
to meet the 33 votes needed to jump the filibuster and was indefinitely postponed on April 17, 2014.
- North Carolina: In 2013, the state's General Assembly passed a bill banning Medicaid expansion, but in October Gov. Pat McCrory (R) in October 2014 said that he would consider expanding Medicaid to an estimated 500,000 state residents. Specifically, he said,
"I'm also trying to figure out what to do with Medicaid and whether to
expand that or not, because the feds are offering all this money, and
yet I’ve got to be concerned with the bureaucracy that could be grown
because of that."
- Oklahoma: Gov. Mary Fallin (R) rejected the
Medicaid expansion in November 2012 and has not proposed an alternate
model for expanding insurance coverage for low-income state residents.
- South Carolina: On March 12, 2013, the state House Republican majority rejected an
expansion of Medicaid, opting instead to allocate $80 million in state
and federal funding in South Carolina's budget for a hospital incentive
payment program. Gov. Nikki Haley (R) announced in July 2012 that she
- Tennessee: Gov. Bill Haslam (R) on Dec. 15, 2014, announced an alternative plan to expand the state's Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. The plan would use
federal funds to extend coverage to an additional 200,000 low-income
state residents by helping them to purchase health plans offered by
their employers or by placing them in the state's Medicaid program.
State residents with annual incomes up to $16,100, or 138% of the
federal poverty level, would be eligible
for the program. The plan must be approved by the state's
Republican-led Legislature and HHS to take effect, but Haslam said he
already has received "verbal approval" from the administration. However,
a key Senate committee in February 2015 voted against the proposal.
- Texas: Gov. Rick Perry (R) and the Republican majority in the state Legislature have unanimously rejected the Medicaid expansion, although Democrats have introduced legislation (HB 3791) that would establish a strategy to expand Medicaid. The bill is pending in the House.
- Utah: Gov. Gary Herbert (R) in December 2014 outlined his plan
to expand Medicaid in his state, but the proposal was rejected by a
Utah House committee in 2015. On July 17, 2015, Gov. Gary Herbert (R)
and state Republican lawmakers announced an agreement on a broad framework for expanding Medicaid through the ACA. The state will ask
hospitals, physicians, and drugmakers to fund the expansion after the
federal government stops covering 100% of expansion costs. Under the
proposal, the state would provide subsidized private coverage for as
many as 126,500 newly eligible residents. Before the plan could be
implemented, it would need to pass in the Legislature and be approved by
HHS. However, state lawmakers in October 2015 firmly rejected a compromise plan, leaving the state without a "clear path forward" for expansion, Peter Sullivan reports for The Hill.
- Virginia: Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has pushed for
Medicaid expansion in Virginia, but the Virginia Legislature in June
2014 passed a budget that did not include expansion. In December 2014,
McAuliffe presented a budget proposal that included an expansion provision, but lawmakers are not expected to accept the provision.
- Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Feb. 13, 2013, said Wisconsin
will not participate in the ACA Medicaid expansion, but will pursue its
own strategy to expand health coverage across the state. In addition,
the legislature's Joint Finance Committee in June 2013 voted against the expansion.
- Wyoming: The state's Wyoming's Department of Health in November 2014 proposed
an alternative Medicaid expansion plan that would extend the program to
about 18,000 state residents with incomes up to 138% of the federal
poverty level.The expansion plan, which has the support of Gov. Matt
Mead (R), calls for
a federal waiver to allow the state to charge monthly premiums and
copayments to low-income individuals who choose to participate. However,
the state Senate and House in February 2015 voted against the expansion plan, tabling the proposal for the rest of the legislative session.