Saturday, January 13, 2018

What Bevin's gutting of Medicaid means for you

Possibly not much.

Kentucky under Matt Bevin just gained an unfortunate distinction (in addition to ranking dead last among all 50 states in economic development). Much as Wisconsin became the first state to drop out of AFDC for the poor, Kentucky is now the first to require some folks to work in order to receive Medicaid, after the Trump regime approved Bevin's demand to enact a work requirement. This despite the fact that Medicaid is not welfare, and federal law actually prohibits requiring people to work for it.

Since most of the changes in Kentucky apply only to people who wouldn't have received Medicaid but for the expansion under the Affordable Care Act, you might not be affected much. This isn't exactly an upmarket blog, so you're probably among those poor enough to get Medicaid even without the expansion. You probably won't be completely untouched though, but it's hard to say, because official accounts of the changes disagree with each other about exactly what will happen.

Personally, I have no problem with a $4 monthly premium - as long as it didn't go to handouts for billionaires, which it does. I'd have no problem if it went to, say, treating heroin addicts or some other medical purpose. But it doesn't. Plus, this isn't about me. Even if I can cough up $4 each month, many families with even less money cannot.

The ultimate plan though is to expand these rules to all Medicaid beneficiaries - and eventually abolish Medicaid altogether. On the other hand, as soon as either Trump or Bevin is replaced by an adult, Medicaid will probably be restored and Bevin's changes will be a footnote in history. We can't be 100% sure though, because when are Republican messes ever completely cleaned up? To be sure, however, Bevin just gave his 2019 opponents an opening to run on restoring Medicaid.

All this in the state that 25 years ago almost became the first to adopt single payer health care.

Instead of more limits, there should be a system like Medicaid or Medicare to cover all Americans. The success of the Bernie Sanders campaign highlights the public demand for healthcare coverage for all.

1 comment:

  1. LOLZ at Bevin..The requirements aren't even going to last until the next governor.

    That is..unless the lawsuit is heard by HitlerHumper or some other rightwingnut..