Health Care for All: Medicaid Expansion a Necessity
Far too many Americans get sick, stay sick, or even die due to the lack of affordable health insurance. Such Americans lose their jobs, their cars, their homes, and even their spouses, during the financial crisis that comes along with an illness. Many people wind up in bankruptcy. Finally, the federal government has passed the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare,” to ensure that all Americans have better access to affordable health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of this federal legislation, except insofar as it required the states to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor. Each state government has been deciding for itself whether more poor people in its state will be eligible for Medicaid coverage. While some right wing fanatics are complaining bitterly, most states are recognizing that providing health care for all is not only good for the poor, but it is also in the long run good for American businesses and American taxpayers to have a healthy and productive citizenry who can get medical treatment on a regular and timely basis. Governor Rick Snyder, at least on this issue, deserved credit for breaking ranks with the extremists in the Michigan Republican Party and calling for the expansion of Michigan’s Medicaid program. Thankfully, he broke ranks with extremists in his own party, joined with Democrats, and passed Medicaid expansion here in Michigan. He later buckled, however, and agreed to legislation that cancelled Medicaid for individuals who could not obtain work. Those unfair Medicaid work requirements were later thrown out after he left office.