December 5, 2013
A Group of People the Size of Hawaii Just Got Health Care (Thanks, Obama)

Today, almost 1.5 million more people are signed up for health insurance than a month ago. That’s roughly the population of, say, Hawaii or Philadelphia.
You can thank the much-maligned Obamacare.
Its still-buggy website has justifiably gotten the most attention—the law won’t work if Healthcare.gov doesn’t—but Obamacare is more than that. It doesn’t just reform our individual insurance system by regulating and subsidizing it, so everyone can get coverage, regardless of preexisting condition. It also expands our government system by opening Medicaid up to people making 138 percent of the federal poverty line ($15,850 for singles and $21,400 for couples). And that’s been working even when the website hasn’t.
At least, it’s worked when states have let it work. See, states aren’t required to accept the Medicaid expansion. They can turn down the free money if they want—and most states with Republican governors have. (And it is pretty much free: the federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs the first decade, and 90 percent thereafter). The result is a bifurcated system where people too poor to qualify for exchange subsidies can get Medicaid in some states, but not others.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

A Group of People the Size of Hawaii Just Got Health Care (Thanks, Obama)

Today, almost 1.5 million more people are signed up for health insurance than a month ago. That’sย roughly the population of, say, Hawaii or Philadelphia.

You can thank the much-maligned Obamacare.

Its still-buggy website has justifiably gotten the most attentionโ€”the law won’t work if Healthcare.gov doesn’tโ€”but Obamacare is more than that. It doesn’t just reform our individual insurance system by regulating and subsidizing it, so everyone can get coverage, regardless of preexisting condition. It also expands our government system by opening Medicaid up to people making 138 percent of the federal poverty line ($15,850 for singles and $21,400 for couples). And that’s been working even when the website hasn’t.

At least, it’s worked when states have let it work. See, states aren’t required to accept the Medicaid expansion. They can turn down the free money if they wantโ€”and most states with Republican governors have. (And it is pretty much free: the federal government will cover 100 percent of the costs the first decade, and 90 percent thereafter). The result is a bifurcated system where people too poor to qualify for exchange subsidies can get Medicaid in some states, but not others.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

  1. bamkapowxo-news reblogged this from bamkapowxo-edification and added:
    The Atlantic Matthew O’Brain A Group of People the Size of Hawaii Just Got Health Care (Thanks, Obama) "Today, almost...
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    Thanks President Obama!
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