Political Animal


January 31, 2013 9:25 AM Unlucky Duckies

By Ed Kilgore

HHS regulations just issued clarifying implementation of the individual health care purchasing mandate should draw attention to the human costs associated with the little temper tantrums certain governors are throwing.

The regs quite logically exempt from the mandate people who would have become eligible for Medicaid under the expansion authorized by the Affordable Care Act. What this dramatizes is the “coverage hole” affecting adults in families with incomes below the federal poverty line in the 33 states where they do not already qualify for Medicaid coverage. At income levels between 100% and 133% of the poverty line, these people will be eligible for coverage under the new health care exchanges. But below the poverty line? They’re out of luck if their states don’t already cover them and now reject the Medicaid expansion.

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. The pols involved, of course, would deny exchange coverage to those with incomes between 100% and 133% of the poverty line if they had the power to do so. So what do they care about the injustice of this coverage hole?

Not a thing, clearly.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Peter C on January 31, 2013 9:39 AM:

    This is why we need to be a fully national party. Governorships matter. Judgeships matter. Local sheriff races matter. Off-year elections matter. We cannot afford to be the sleeping giant who awakes every four years to fight for the Presidency. We’ve got to fight in all 50 states all the time.

  • c u n d gulag on January 31, 2013 10:07 AM:

    Let's just explain Conservative "ideology" to people in a way that is clear and concise:

    If you ain't rich, Conservatives and Repubicans don't give a fucking shit about you!

    Not whether you and/or your family are healthy or not.
    Not whether anyone lives or dies.
    Not whether anyone can eat.
    Not whether anyone is educated, besides those who can afford private schools and Ivy League Colleges.
    Not whether anyone has shelter or not.

    They just plain don't give a fucking shit about anyone but the rich.

    And if you think that they do, and you're not rich, then you are either a sucker or a moron - or, both!

    Do you "grok" that?

    PS: My apologies for not disguising the dirty words with cutesy little symbols.
    But, not giving a FUCKING SHIT about others, needs to be spelled out completely.
    There's cutesy about that!

  • c u n d gulag on January 31, 2013 10:09 AM:


    That should read:
    There's NOTHING cutesy about that!!!

  • Rick B on January 31, 2013 10:18 AM:

    I wonder how difficult it would be to actually identify the people who are being shafted and mail each of them a letter suggesting which way they should vote in the next election?

    Or that they should vote period.

    Or that if they registered they could vote and it would benefit them.

    Rick Perry is going to run for a fourth four year term as Texas governor in 2014. His owners have decreed that he should. A serious GOTV effort could really shock the conservatives here, but the potential voters need to be given the idea that it might actually matter to them. This just might do it.

  • Celui on January 31, 2013 10:22 AM:

    This GOTP gubernatorial BS is still part of the punitive persuasion that these pinheads continue to follow. Certainly, an extension of 'Plantation Mentality 101' and 'Elementary Racial/Economic Decision-Making.' My question is: aren't these 'governors' elected by the citizens of their states, citizens for whom they are to govern in their stead?? Obviously, then, if the governors are so (blanking) beholden to the monied interests, they're not governing for their citizens. Recall, anyone? Could work, even in the backward South, where most of this anti-Medicaid moronity is still kicking.

  • Josef K on January 31, 2013 10:24 AM:

    Looks like the makings of a good plank for the next election platform.

    Why the hell are individual governors getting the authority to reject this expansion anyway?

  • Spring Texan on January 31, 2013 10:46 AM:

    The governors are getting the authority because of the blankety-blank Supreme Court.

    But there have made a number of decisions both in writing the law and in enacting it make the law way worse than it needs to be. It is TERRIBLE that the different levels of standardized plans will differ from state to state rather than having one national standard. The affordability regulations are similarly terrible. This is all due to a very poor Obama executive branch.

    To read about recent affordability decisions, see: http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/even-affordable-care-act-health-insurance-coverage-many-families-may-remain-unaffordable Creates another Catch-22 besides the equally horrible too-rich-for-Medicaid gap in states like mine.

    But then, Obamacare never even tried to be universal healthcare and it is going to be way less nearly universal than projected, sigh.

  • T-Rex on January 31, 2013 11:17 AM:

    Of COURSE they care about the coverage hole! They want to use it to generate stories that prove that "Obamacare isn't working."